Looking back on a year that saw computer virus attacks, terrorist assaults and path-breaking online product launches, the highs and lows made joint appearances playing seesaw with our emotions. The highs have undoubtedly been many. Like the time our registrations jumped during the country-wide GoDubai Bonanza campaign - or when we were recognised as the premier online hotel booking website for Dubai - or when InsitesOnline - GoDubai's Travel Network was launched during the Arabian Travel Mart 2001. Sponsoring a prestigious (Dhs. 62,000/- prize money) horse race at the exclusive Nad Al Sheba
racecourse, was definitely a fitting icing on the cake.
Any feature on year 2001 worth its name cannot get by without the mention of September 11 2001. GoDubai, as did the rest of the region, felt the impact briefly, in terms of a downturn in hotel bookings - but the forceful 'Business As Usual' mantra from Rulers, got the city and the website over the crises in a matter of days.
City Buzz and hotel bookings
2001 will always be remembered as the year the GoDubai team made it easy for surfers to keep abreast of daily goings-on:-
City Newsflash | Tourist Newsflash | Press Releases | Travel News | Labour Laws
September 11 probably caused a slight slowdown but otherwise GoDubai has enjoyed a steady flow of bookings right through the year. Our very committed customer service personnel, Emma, Sreeja and Rana, ensure that every booking gets individual attention.
GoDubai currently offers :
Hotel/Apt bookings | Car Rentals | Tours & Safaris | Worldwide destinations
Insites : GoDubai’s Travel Network
If you are a regular GoDubai surfer, you wouldn’t have failed to notice the various travel deals we have been offering through 2001. For the question “How on earth can GoDubai offer travel deals to Switzerland,” here is the answer.
Make an air, hotel, tour and car rental booking and get away, your way.
- InsitesOnline.com launched in May 2001 during the Arabian Travel Mart
- Insites : a B2B and B2C travel network
- Insites : Backed by over 100 major travel suppliers worldwide and a network of 500 travel agents in the Middle East.
The path-breaking experts section widened its reach with the inclusion of doctors from Welcare Hospital, Alternative Therapists, Corporate Lawyers, a Shopping Expert for Electronics and more recently an Acupuncture specialist and an automobile expert.
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|Contests in 2001|
14 Padi courses (Amex)
CDs up for grabs
Scholarships to excel
Games & Goodies
30 movie videos
14 mobile phones
30 lucky winners
Games and game gear
5-star luxury for 2
Dhs. 1,000 vouchers
36 luxurious prizes
30 movie videos
Hannibal Books and more
| Event Promotions|
From Sting Live to the GoDubai Cup for horse-racing
The region's first-ever online sweepstakes on GoDubai made a grand exit on a mild winter's afternoon at the Four Points Sheraton's Ballroom, on February 18th. During the promotion the community website generated over 17,534,300 hits, 1,381,783 page views and 68,948 entries for Bonanza sweepstakes. With Bonanza vouchers available at retail outlets in the city and inserted in every telephone bill courtesy Etisalat, this promotion was big. (In pic : Satish, 1st prize winner receiving his all-paid Caribbean cruise for two from Danny Dinesh, Regional Manager - KLM Airlines )
Sting’s concert in Dubai broke the online booking record of GoDubai. Shyamal at the reception recalls, “it was tough to keep pace with the flow of bookings”. This sell-out concert was followed in February 2001 by the equally successfully by the vocal powerhouse from Wales, Tom Jones.
Second year running, GoDubai was privileged to host the official website for The Pedigree Dubai Dog Show.
After the traditional July/August lull, concerts picked up again in September with Sur Sangam – a performance by Indian music maestros Chaurasia on the flute and Sharma on the Santoor. September 11 induced a small hiccup - The Club Nokia Disco Fever called off their concert, but most others realized that Dubai is probably safer than any other place on earth.
Temperatures soared in October as the irrepressible ex-Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell took centrestage. The most unusual stage-show of the season was undoubtedly the spectacular piece of Kung Fu Live – Shaolin Wheel of Life.
The little Prince of Rai, Cheb Mami entertained in a 3-hour extravaganza with five of the hottest acts from the Arabic music scene in a sell-out concert ‘Desert Rhythms’ in November. The huge audiences from the sub-continent danced to the tunes of some big Bollywood names in the Musical Hangama 2001 in November and laughed their way through the Hindi Play Romance Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.
GoDubai.com Cup : Race 3 | Thoroughbreds – Purse : Dhs. 62,500/-
GoDubai.com had the privilege of sponsoring a race at the exclusive Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday, 20th December 2001. Kabir, Operations Manager of GoDubai.com, handed over the cup to the eventual winner. Online badges for the racing season 2001-2002 can be purchased now. . Event promotions on GoDubai concluded quite appropriately with the New Year Eve Ball. Watch out for more exciting event promos in 2002!
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Jobs, CuteKids and Time-Out
The unquestionable lead the jobs section maintained throughout the year was a testimony to the fact that everyone would love to work in Dubai. Content Developer Shanti says, “It is always gratifying to receive Emails from both satisfied job seekers and employers alike”.
Cute Kids and Models
The wait was getting too unbearable for most parents and so GoDubai decided to update the section daily with a couple of images. GoDubai Editor, Supriya says, “Cute Kids has established a comfortable niche for itself. We’d like to see more aspiring models submit their photographs for the models contest. You could win a professional portfolio worth Dhs. 1,000/-“
Telelife, the popular Dubai-based magazine got a new look on GoDubai. MiceOnline, the Middle-east based travel magazine joined the ranks and our surfers continue to enjoy reading hitherto taboo topics on Arabian Woman.
Weekly Crossword and the Caption Corner are the cornerstones of this soon-to-expand section. Content Developer Deepanjali says, "Thanks to popular demand from our surfers, the Caption Corner will have a prize for the best Captions submitted." A daily quiz will soon be testing our surfers' general knowledge.
Events Update was sustained with some excellent input by Manisha and Assma, and the customised web pages we developed for high-profile events such as the the Dubai Shopping Festival 2001 and Dubai, The City That Cares
Buildstory took on a hugely successful change of course with topics like The driving Licence Saga, Wedding Album and Interview Bloopers. Personally, we enjoyed the entries from School Children during July/August, initiated inadvertently by a school teacher making Build A Story part of his students' summer assignment.
Ecards received a major facelift with cards that you could hear as well as watch. Keep this section bookmarked for Eid, Diwali and Christmas.
Media Watch kept a keen eye on matters close to the Dubai resident - the ban on private taxis and sale of counterfeit goods and the big question of education beyond Dubai, sparked some heated online debate.
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Thinking of You|
GoDubai bade a sorrowful farewell to Arun Kumar Yadav, who passed away on the 8th of July, 2001. His untimely demise left us shocked and shaken. His memory lives on in our hearts and in the pages of GoDubai.