Helping The Dubai Tourist Industry to Grow Tourism remains vital for business growth.

The World Travel Organization estimates that within the next fifteen years, a total of 68.5 million visitors will visit the Middle East. The Middle East accounts for 5% of world tourism. By 2016, Middle Eastern business travel is estimated at $28.4 billion – yet it’s estimated business travel comprises 80% of gulf travel. Yet central to Dubai’s tourism success is the Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing (DTCM at http://www.dubaitourism.ae/). Since its establishment in 1997, it now assumes full responsibility for Dubai’s entire marketing and tourism activities. Operations have grown to 18 overseas offices, handing a variety of activities. Whether the need is something large, like overseeing archeological, archeological, and heritage sites, DTCM oversees the operation. Even small needs, like brochure and media preparation, are under their oversight. Even immensely successful companies like DTCM, need to consult outside experts, to continue to expand, improve efficiency, decrease costs, and improve the bottom line. One reason Toyota became the world’s number one car manufacture – yet continues to hold this title – is its use of innovate statically, quality methods, embracing lean production. While Toyota continues to hold the number one title, even in this global recession, US car manufactures are struggling with bankruptcy. Much is attributed to overhead and production costs. DTCM wished to embrace the Toyota vision, and seek outside expertise, to improve the bottom line. DTCM turned to Tejari (http://www.Tejari.com) to help them become more successful. At the heart of Tejari’s solution is online procurement. Here they utilize electronic purchase procedures to connect customers and preferred vendors. The heart of this system is the online reverse auction, which reverses buyer and seller roles – extremely advantageous for the seller. Tejari made it easy by providing DTCM by issuing RFQ (requests for quotation), allowing the company to publicize its supply needs. Suppliers then log online, during a predefined time period, and submit quotes for supply requests. This method accounts for 5% of worldwide corporate spending. Commencing in 2000, DTCM utilized the Tejari system to conduct auctions and tenders (i.e. – bid for securities at auction), hoping to secure quality supplies, at ample savings. This has special importance for the DTCM, for in May 2002, it created Dubai Convention Bureau. In order to attract to Dubai major events, this newly formed entity was responsible for the international bidding process. Although the Dubai government launched several business ventures, Tejari is considered one of the most successful. DTCM was thoroughly briefed regarding potential business benefits, which could include required supplies at lower prices, better quality, improved technical capacities, and delivery performance. In a May 2007 article entitled Reverse Auctions – a supplier’s survival guide by Mark Chafkin – there is an interesting projection by Sandi Jap, from the Wharton School of Business. It’s estimated that 50% of corporate spending will eventually be done by reverse auctions. DCTM experienced phenomenal success, through the Tejari network. The saving have been between 3 to 5 % on average, which given a large purchasing budget, can amount to considerable savings. As far as reported problems, there weren’t any, as seen by DCTM. Yet the success metrics tell their own story. Over $900,000 was spent in 3 auctions alone. A total of $6.7 million was spent in 634 auctions alone. In terms of the 3 – 5% savings, it helps to put $6.7 million into perspective. The savings can vary from $201,000 to $335,000. Current DTCM is utilizing 20-25% of its regular orders through online procurement, and anticipates doubling this in 2009. In addition to its Dubai procurement operations, there are plans to expand the operation to its overseas network. When they were asked about what Tejari helped accomplished, they replied, “…we need to underline that with the support of the Tejari

marketplace, we found a lot of new suppliers, who provide us with quality products and services, with the best price available.” Tejari loves to think of itself as awakening the former silk routes or Silk Road – this is only natural. Back at its peak, the Silk Road embraced North Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean, with South, West, and East Asia. The route extended over 4,000 miles, and allowed the trade of such items as silk, medicine, jewels, perfume, musk, spices, perfumes, and other items. Instead of traveling the ancient Silk Road by land or sea, today it is traveled over the Internet, via the electronic Silk Road. Whether the commodities are Shanghai textiles, Milan fashion, Qingdao electronics, Egyptian agricultural foods, or Bangladesh pharmaceuticals, the Tejari network embraces it. Today their active membership extends to 42 industries, counting a membership over one million. While the ancient Silk Road had ancient desert routes, crawling with danger – whether sandstorms, mirages, or bandits – today the process is much easier, with Tejari guiding the way.