DUBAI—Dubai has kicked off a big-budget search for international PR support as the emirate looks to continue growing tourism numbers from various countries around the world.

The Holmes Report understands that Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) released the tender last week, inviting as many as 12 PR agencies to take part in the process.

The assignment is thought to cover a range of countries, including key sources of tourism such as Russia, China, India, the UK, Germany, US, Africa and Australia. Dubai's tourism PR in the Middle East is overseen by Asda'a Burson-Marsteller.

It follows the launch of a $20m tourism campaign by Dubai and Emirates last year, amid concerns over a potential slowdown in visitors from Europe.

Dubai's tourist appeal has resulted in consecutive years of double-digit increases in arrivals, with the emirate attracting 11m visitors in 2013. Arrivals in the first half of this year have reached record levels, but growth has slowed considerably, with many blaming airport upgrades and flight reductions.

It is understood that some agencies are being sought for specific markets, while others can respond for the entire remit. One source estimated the overall value of the assignment at as much as $1m.

The emirate has targeted 20m visitors by 2020, with growth in several sectors — such as construction and hospitality— dependent on continued increases in visitor numbers.

Representatives from the DTCM did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.