Japan’s Dubai office expands to include GCC


Japan’s inbound tourism from emerging markets is on the rise. The Middle East has seen a huge jump in arrival figures, growing 17.2 per cent in 2023, when compared to the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.Travel consultants will be encouraged to know that Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) is looking to actively support partners that boost Japan bound tourism.

In an exclusive discussion with TTN Middle East, JNTO Executive Director – Dubai Office, Daisuke Kobayashi revealed plans for the Middle East and milestones for the year ahead. “It has been over two years since JNTO opened an office in Dubai, and I am positioning 2024, our third year, as the year of further expansion.

“To expand the scope of tourism promotion, we have so far focused on mainly the UAE, where our office is located, but from now on, we will focus on other GCC countries as well such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar in addition to the UAE.



Japan Airlines has become the first Japanese airline company to launch a direct flight to the Middle East by operating Doha - Haneda flight from this season
– Daisuke Kobayashi



“To boost collaboration with local stakeholders, in addition to local airlines that operate direct flights from the Middle East to Japan, Japan Airlines has become the first Japanese airline company to launch a direct flight to Middle East by operating Doha – Haneda flight from this season. We are planning specific joint promotions with them and with the travel agencies that handle inbound travel to Japan.”

Middle Eastern travellers will be looking to enjoy Japan at its best. One of the top attractions are Universal Studio Japan’s Super Nintendo World that will unveil Donkey Kong Country, a new area with lush greenery centred around the world of Donkey Kong, with themed food, attractions, and special merchandise.

“In order to expand the number of players entering the Middle East on the Japan side, we will disseminate the latest trends, market potential, and business opportunities in the Middle East market to inbound partners in Japan, and we will actively support those companies that are expanding into concrete business in the Middle East market in terms of tourism, and ATM 2024 in May will be one such opportunity,”

JNTO seeks to familiarize travel agents with the uniqueness of the regions of Japa, its historic charm, culture, and traditions shaped by its landscapes, climate, and people across centuries. This cultural legacy of Japan, whether in tangible artifacts or intangible practices, has been carefully preserved and passed down, ensuring that its narratives endure and are shared for generations to come.