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Dubai aims for Latin America to grow tourism

 "We are looking into South America," said Hamad bin Mejren, the executive director of business tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). "That is a market we are concentrating on. I assure you we have plans to open an office in South America. When Emirates [Airline] flies to a destination, we work together."

Emirates at the beginning of this year launched flights to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. Dubai attracted a record number of tourists last year, with an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year to a total of 9.3 million hotel guests staying in the emirate, according to figures from the DTCM. Hotel revenue reached close to Dh16 billion (US$4.35bn) last year, an increase of 20 per cent over 2010.

This was helped by strong growth from emerging markets including China and India, and now Dubai is hoping Latin America can help the emirate achieve further growth. Such markets have become increasingly important as Dubai last year reported a decline in tourism from Britain, which used to be its biggest feeder market.

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