PRO requirement waived for hotels and tourism companies
Cancellation of PRO card is part of Dubai Tourism's ongoing efforts to ease business processes across the city
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has waived a mandatory requirement for hotel establishments, tourism companies and event organisers to obtain a public relations officer (PRO) card prior to conducting industry transactions such as requests for permits and approvals for a range of tourism and travel-related activities and services.
Hotels and tourism companies including travel agents, tour operators and event management businesses can now submit requests and applications online via the Dubai Tourism portal, according to a statement.
Previously, companies in the tourism industry were required to register their official representatives with Dubai Tourism and obtain a PRO card for all transactions. Tourism and travel service providers were charged AED 1,000 (US$272) per PRO card which was subject to an annual renewal fee, with penalties imposed on companies that violated the provision.
Dubai Tourism executive director, tourism activities and classifications sector Khalid Bin Touq said in a statement: "The cancellation of this precondition for conducting official transactions is in keeping with the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city and the 'Dubai Paperless Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai."
He added that the latest deregulation steps are part of the efforts to eliminate barriers to entry and growth for SMEs and start-ups, by minimising red tape and introducing hassle-free processes.
The new measure follows the recent cancellation of a regulatory prerequisite that required tourism-related service providers to furnish a bank guarantee to Dubai Tourism prior to obtaining a trade licence from the Department of Economic Development.
Separately, Dubai Tourism introduced three proposals to support the government’s economic stimulus programme aimed at making it easier to operate and grow a business in Dubai, including attracting more transit passengers to visit the emirate, introducing the time share concept to increase the appeal to families, and to encourage more luxury yachts to visit Dubai.