Al Mohannad Sharafuddin, Chairman, Arabian Falcon Holidays, urged Dubai’s tourism leaders to think seriously about incorporating timeshare into their product mix, at a recent gathering of the Dubai Skal Club.

Some 50 members of Dubai’s tourism elite, including hotel operators, travel agents and destination management companies (DMCs), gathered at The Montgomery Golf Club last week to discuss the latest travel trends and business opportunities presenting themselves in Dubai.

As guest speaker, Al Mohannad Sharafuddin extolled the virtues of adding vacation ownership to mixed-use tourism developments in Dubai.

“The last decade has seen Dubai become a global tourism icon because of its unrivalled economic growth. Vacation ownership has been the fastest growing sector of the worldwide travel and tourism industry for a decade. It is therefore natural that vacation ownership in Dubai is ready for success,” Sharafuddin said.

“Vacation ownership has unlimited potential in the market. The current estimated penetration rate for timeshare in the Middle East is only around one percent,” he pointed out.

Talking to hotel operators and travel agents, Sharafuddin explained that vacation ownership adds value to any mixed-use tourism development, as it produces loyal customers who are willing to spend that little bit extra on securing a comfortable holiday experience.

“The timeshare model fits in naturally with the way in which Middle East travellers like to take vacations. The larger unit sizes, often boasting two or three bedrooms, are an ideal product offering,” he remarked.

Sharafuddin’s company, Arabian Falcon Holidays, has lead Dubai’s timeshare industry with the complete sell out of the emirate’s first timeshare resort, the 50-unit Royal Club at The Palm, Jumeirah, last year.

Arabian Falcon Holidays is now promoting its second iconic property, Royal Club at Downtown Dubai, which will boast 100 spacious apartments overlooking the world’s tallest tower, Burj Dubai.

“Arabian Falcon Holidays believes in the Middle East region, especially Dubai, and we have been active in this part of the world for the past 12 years,” said Sharafuddin.

As sales and marketing agent for Royal Club at Downtown Dubai, Arabian Falcon Holidays is working hard to educate the market on the benefits of timeshare membership. The company operates a high-tech sales gallery and employs a number of fully trained sales and customer service representatives.

Sharafuddin was also a guest speaker at the recently concluded Vacation Ownership Investment Conference 2008 (VOIC), which took place March 11-12 in Dubai. At the conference he also shared his experiences as a Middle Eastern timeshare sales and marketing pioneer.

VOIC 2008 is supported by Interval International, a leading provider of exchange, travel, and leisure services to resort developers and vacationers worldwide, and will be held at the Arabian Court, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.