Tourism is crucial to UAE’s long-term economic development plan, says officials

Members of the Ministry of Economy met with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority

Officials have underscored the importance tourism plays in the UAE economy’s growth and recovery. Convening at the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) headquarters in Sharjah, top officials laid out plans to boost the Arab nation’s tourism industry.

HE Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; HE Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs; and HE Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, met with HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA to share and flesh out ideas.

The two sides delved into recent major developments in UAE tourism, as well as the prevailing challenges facing the industry amid the pandemic. During the meeting, the officials agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the mission to elevate the UAE’s tourism sector.

Al Marri said: “With its developed and pioneering system, the UAE’s tourism industry performed well as evidenced by its impressive ratings and high rankings across many global indicators last year. For instance, it ranked first in the Middle East region and 33rd globally in terms of global competitiveness. Tourism’s economic contributions last year were considerable as well. According to the 2019 report of the World Economic Forum, the sector accounted for 11.9 percent of the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) and created 745,000 job opportunities.”

“Tourism is a key priority of the 33-initiative plan. Our meeting with our SCTDA partners proves our commitment to working closely together to achieve the plan’s objectives and support the domestic tourism, which is seen to help stimulate activities within the hospitality and entertainment industries. We are also going to enhance the UAE’s tourism and its ability to attract regional and global tourists, giving special emphasis on the areas of leisure, adventure and business,” Al Falasi added.

Al Midfa concluded: "We highly appreciate the efforts made by the government to limit the impact of the global pandemic on the tourism sector and their provision of the means to further accelerate the pace of recovery to help push the path of tourism development."

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