UAE participates under umbrella of Ministry of Economy
- Al Muhairi: Indian visitors increased 9 per cent to 2.3 million last year
An official delegation from the UAE is participating in OTM – India's largest travel trade show running from today (Tuesday, February 21, 2017) until February 23, 2017 in Bombay, India – under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. Members include representatives of various tourism departments and agencies in the UAE.
The UAE is participating in the annual exhibition for the second year in a row. Its expanded pavilion is organized under the theme ‘Visit UAE’ and will showcase the most popular tourist destinations across all the emirates. It will also promote tourism services and facilities, shed light on the best options for tourism and business, shopping, therapy and cultural tourism landmarks, among others, and provide adequate tourist information to facilitate easy access to top attractions.
OTM is a major regional and global event that gathers more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries. It promotes tourism cooperation and expanded access to opportunities in new and promising tourist markets, either from India or from various other countries participating in the show.
Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy and adviser to the Minister for Tourism, said that after last year’s successful participation the UAE has broadened its presence to include the various government bodies responsible for tourism in all the emirates as well as private sector representatives involved in tourism.
Al Muhairi added that the UAE pavilion is situated in one of the main wings of the exhibition, further noting that like last year, the UAE was chosen as a ‘Focus Country’ due to its world-renowned tourist attractions, facilities and infrastructure. He also noted the diversity of the country’s tourism options and the development of services as well as the presence of facilities provided for tourists from the moment they enter the country until their departure to ensure they have a rich experience and consequently help promote Emirati tourist destinations regionally and globally.
He also pointed out that India is one of the UAE’s top tourism patrons, saying that the number of Indian visitors rose by 9 per cent over 2015 to 2.3 million last year, accounting for 8.5 per cent of the UAE’s total visitors. Al Muhairi pointed out that the UAE’s selection as a ‘Focus Country’ for the second consecutive year has drawn significant attention from exhibition participants and visitors alike and has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of visitors between India and the UAE. This, he said, highlights the importance of the state’s active participation in major tourism exhibitions, and push towards universal experience on other shows soon.
On the first day of the exhibition, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India and H.E. Mohamed Saleh Ahmed Al Jalah Al Teneiji, UAE Consul General in Mumbai, visited the UAE Pavilion and inspected the services provided to visitors and attendees of the event. H.E. Dr. Al Banna expressed admiration for the key response and popularity of the pavilion, further citing the importance of the UAE participation at the OTM exhibition and the significance of promoting the UAE as an ideal tourism destination.
For his part, Abdullah Al Hammadi, Director of the Tourism Department of the Ministry of Economy: The parties involved with the Ministry's pavilion include the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority; the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; the Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority; the Ajman Tourism Development Department;, Emirates airline; and representatives of various hotels, tour companies, and the UAE’s tourism departments.
Al Hammadi added that the UAE pavilion occupies 352 square meters and that its strategical location facilitates easy access from all entrances. This will help receive several visitors to the wing who will be provided extensive information on the country’s excellent tourism services, offerings and attractions.
H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to taking part in the OTM travel trade show as part of the UAE delegation under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. The Authority’s participation in the event showcases Sharjah’s tourism offerings, H.E. Al Midfa continued, and allows it to communicate with influential stakeholders in the tourism industry. This strengthens the Authority’s strategic ties with the Indian market and allows it to benefit from the great momentum that this market can offer, as India is considered a key source market for Sharjah’s tourism sector.
H.E. Saeed Al Semahi, Director General of the Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority, said: “The Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority is keen to participate in the OTM exhibition in India under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy (Tourism Sector) and under the slogan ‘Visit UAE.’ India is a very important tourism market for the UAE in general and Fujairah in particular; risen by around 50 per cent from 2015. This growth is the result of promotional workshops and heightened cooperation among the UAE’s tourism authorities and departments. We appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Economy’s Tourism Sector in supporting and energizing this vital sector.”
H.E. Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Ajman Tourism Development Department, added: “We are delighted to take part in this year’s OTM in Mumbai, India. The UAE has strong historical and economic relations with India, and the event provides those involved in the tourism industry with a great opportunity to meet and exchanges views. Through its participation in the ‘Visit UAE’ pavilion, the Ajman Tourism and Development Department aims to promote the emirate as a key destination for tourists and events by showcasing the city’s attractions, luxury resorts, top international hotels and its historical and cultural heritage.”
“Our participation in OTM 2017 is driven by our keen interest in creating a strong presence in the world's biggest tourism market. Our recent statistics show that the number of tourists and visitors from Asia, particularly India, has increased considerably; this comes in line with the strategic vision of Ajman 2021 and meets our objective of increasing the number and cultural variety of tourists. It is our pleasure to invite all of the exhibition’s visitors to learn more about the tourist attractions in the Emirate of Ajman, and we encourage them to spend an exceptional holiday in our beautiful city.”
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority is pleased to come together with the other emirates as part of the Ministry of Economy’s delegation to OTM this year. The event is a key platform for us to network with major travel partners from India and raise awareness on the destinations we offer, particularly those serving the leisure and meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) segments.”
“In 2016, we launched our three-year tourism strategy for attracting a million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018. India is currently our fourth international source market after Germany, UK and Russia. Visitor arrivals from India in 2016 grew by 28 per cent compared to 2015, and our partnerships with the Indian travel trade are crucial to our continued push for exponential growth from this market,” he concluded.