Stars of 2018
Sat 22 Dec 2018 10:25 PM
Helal Al Marri

Industry: Tourism

Company: Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing

Designation: Director General

He’s on his way to complete Dubai’s goal of attracting 20 million visitors per year to Dubai by 2020, as the city welcomed almost 16 million visitors in 2017. This year, the director general of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), who took the role in 2013, also helped launch Tourism 2.0, a blockchain-enabled marketplace that directly connects potential buyers to hotels and tour operators and ultimately enhance the tourism sector in the emirate. The move is in line with the Dubai 10X initiative, which aims to place Dubai government entities 10 years ahead of all global cities, across various sectors.

There is a need for a hyper-connected business landscape to potentially revolutionise the tourism ecosystem in order to maintain global competitiveness

Al Marri is also the CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) since 2004, having played a crucial role in positioning Dubai as a global financial and commercial hub and enabling it to become a leading global destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). Events at DWTC alone have totalled a record $3.4bn in retained value to Dubai’s economy, making up 3.3 percent of the emirate’s GDP in 2017, according to the latest Economic Impact Assessment report released by DWTC. Al Marri is spearheading the $135m, four-phase expansion of DWTC funded by export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF).