Former UK Home and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw flew the flag for British business at The Hotel Show in Dubai by backing the country’s design industry.
He visited stands set up by British studios on the opening day of the event, which is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Straw was working alongside the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), a government body which supplies assistance to companies looking to break into overseas markets.
He toured the event paying special attention to the UK interior design section, which included artworks, ceramics and tiling displays
“The British presence at this event is great,” he told designMENA. “It is also to the great credit of the recent [British] coalition government that it upgraded UKTI as a priority for Britain.
“The thing about British design is that it of such high quality. For a start we have some of the best design colleges in the world. And then it’s all about the follow-through. That is where Britain sometimes used to fall down. Cars, for instance, would be extremely well designed, but maybe there was a bolt left out.
“That doesn’t happen nowadays.”
The UK-based Senator Group, which supplies interior fittings for the hospitality sector, was one of the stands Straw visited.
Its chairman Colin Mustoe said: “What customers feel when they see something is British made is trust. They now the right amount of attention to details has gone into the design.”
The show was opened by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation, CEO and chairman of The Emirates Group and chairman of Dubai World.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), provided the keynote speech opening speech.
He said: “The Hotel Show is one of the most important annual events in our calendar at Dubai Tourism and has played a significant part in driving the hospitality sector by bringing hoteliers together, facilitating partnerships, improving market analysis and understanding, and ensuring alignment with Dubai’s overall tourism vision.
“The hotel sector in general is the backbone of Dubai’s tourism industry, and it is the calibre of the emirate’s accommodation offerings that has helped shape the high standards and reputation that Dubai enjoys and is known for. Hotels and hospitality have a great part to play in realising Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade.
“Dubai welcomed 13.2 million international overnight visitors in 2014, so while much progress has already been made, there is still much to achieve. Together, facilitated by the Hotel Show, we can reach and exceed our goals, and drive success and prosperity within the tourism industry as whole.”