Based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Versatile Tourism is a destination management company offering inbound and outbound packages from Dubai.
We spoke with the Managing Partner of Versatile Tourism, Krishan Gandotra, to find out more about this leading service provider to the global travel industry, and for insights into tourism in the emirates.
You’ve spent much of your career with Versatile Tourism, but where did it all begin and how did your career progress to where you are today?
It all started in 2014 when I was visiting the UAE for work and leisure. The light bulb moment was an overnight desert safari – an experience of a lifetime. I knew then that I wanted to venture into tourism and show the other side of the UAE to the world. Hence Versatile Tourism was born!
I learnt a lot about tourism from a family friend who had been in the business for a long time. Through his guidance I have learnt a lot, and am still learning as the company grows. Working with Red Elephant Reps has also taught me so much about Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Tell us about the UAE as a destination. What do you think it offers to visitors?
Of course, there are miles and miles of endless desert. But what many don’t know about is the unique biodiversity. There are craggy mountains, plunging valleys, salt plains, wildlife-filled mangroves, and stretches of white sand beaches leading into crystal clear warm waters. · ·
In addition, the UAE offers economic and political stability; a robust infrastructure; low crime rate; a strategic location connecting the east and the west; and a diverse range of accommodation to cater to all budgets and tastes. The population is religiously and culturally tolerant with more than 200 nationalities living peacefully alongside each other.
How much has the UAE changed in terms of urban development? What are the current key projects being developed?
Earlier this year, the Mangrove Walk on Al Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi opened. Its winding walkway transverses a one million-square-metre area filled with mangroves and wildlife.
There are many more exciting projects coming up. Due to open next year are the large silver architecturally striking Museum of the Future Dubai; and Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel over 250 metres high. In the near future, we can also expect to see the opening of Madame Tussauds Dubai; the scary Zombie Apocalypse Park; and Mohammed bin Rashid Library, structured to resemble an open book.
There are many new hotels being developed including Legoland Hotel, Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk and St Regis The Palm.
The UAE has actually been progressing steadily on the path of growth and development over the last three decades. Prominent cities like Dubai have expanded several times their size in comparison with what they used to be, even as recently as the 1970s and 1980s.
Versatile Tourism is one of the major DMC’s in the UAE – how do you stay competitive and what sets you apart?
Tourism in the UAE is very competitive with a lot of players in the industry. As a DMC we always deliver premium quality travel solutions whilst offering the best value and experience to customers worldwide. We have to make sure that we provide quality service at a cost that will enable us to remain competitive. We are always looking for new opportunities to diversify our business and target groups, and to be involved in MICE.
In a nutshell Versatile aspires to become a leading service provider to the global travel industry.
How has Versatile Tourism been coping with the ongoing pandemic? With the softening of travel requirements to enter the UAE, have you seen an increase in bookings?
The COVID 19 pandemic could have left the tourism industry devastated. However when lockdown finished all the major hotel chains with whom Versatile works, opened up and started promoting staycations for locals and expats.
Now that Dubai is 100% open, we are seeing tourists return to the UAE. In addition, we are getting a lot of enquiries for future travel here.
Yes, everybody must wear a mask in public places and follow social distancing rules, but besides that, Dubai is back to normal. Everything is open – beaches, malls, hotels, cinemas, safari parks, entertainment venues, restaurants, bars – and lots more!
Contact us to find out more about Versatile Tourism, UAE.