June 13, 2024

UAE participates in 12th session of Conference of Tourism Ministers of OIC in Uzbekistan

H.E.  Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, participated in the 12th session of the Conference of Ministers of Tourism, under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in the City of Khiva in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The meeting brought together several tourism ministers, senior officials from the tourism sector of OIC Member States, and representatives from regional and international organizations dedicated to tourism and culture.

Al Saleh expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Republic of Uzbekistan for hosting this important meeting. He also commended the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in organizing this fruitful session aimed at fostering the growth of the tourism sector in the region.

H.E.  Al Saleh emphasized that the UAE is committed to supporting the OIC’s objectives of advancing tourism as a catalyst for economic growth, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding among member states. Additionally, the UAE seeks to facilitate the exchange of expertise and nurture sustained partnerships across diverse sectors and tourism activities. These efforts align with the nation’s new economic model outlined in the vision of ‘We the UAE 2031,’ where tourism plays a pivotal role.

He said: “This meeting holds significance considering the growing tourism industry in the region and the dynamic shifts occurring both locally and internationally. It marks a pivotal moment for enhancing collaborative efforts, fostering new opportunities and initiatives, and finding the best solutions. Our goal is to harness these resources to boost the growth and resilience of the tourism sector, thereby bolstering the economic advancement of our Islamic economies. Ultimately, this initiative seeks to promote the prosperity and welfare of our people, fulfill the aspirations of future generations, and secure a brighter tomorrow for all.”

UAE Tourism Industry Benchmarks:

In his speech at the meeting, he added: “The UAE tourism sector has maintained its momentum with remarkable achievements and strong indicators, reinforcing its crucial position in driving the national economy. In 2023, the sector grew by 26 per cent compared to 2022 and surpassed pre-pandemic levels from 2019 by 14 per cent. Its significant contribution to the GDP has reached AED 220 billion, representing 11.7 per cent of the country’s GDP. The sector is projected to continue its growth trajectory in 2024, with its expected contribution climbing to AED 236 billion, equivalent to 12 per cent of the GDP, as indicated by a report from the World Travel and Tourism Council.”

Al Saleh added: “The United Arab Emirates ranked first regionally and 18th globally in the World Economic Forum’s 2024 Tourism and Travel Development Index, making a remarkable advancement of seven places from its 25th rank globally in 2019.” He noted that these results and achievements underscores the efficacy of the forward-looking vision of the wise leadership, which prioritizes sustainable tourism development and nurtures ongoing collaboration with governmental and private sector partners, both regionally and globally, in order to achieve the targets of ‘National Tourism Strategy 2031’.

These objectives aim to elevate the status of the UAE as the premier global tourist destination, raise the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP of the country to AED 450 billion, and attract 40 million guests in hotel accommodations within the next decade.

Promoting digital transformation in tourism services:

H.E. emphasized that digital transformation is essential to support the sustainability of the tourism sector. “Our country has actively promoted digital solutions and cutting-edge technologies to elevate the tourism experience for global visitors, ensuring a one-of-a-kind journey. With a robust digital infrastructure aligned with global standards, the UAE has pioneered smart applications, digital tourism guides, and enriched virtual reality experiences at cultural and heritage sites,” Al Saleh said.

He further noted that the country was ready to support collaborative efforts and share expertise with fellow member states of the Organization, thereby promoting sustainable tourism development.

Cooperation in the application of halal tourism standards of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation:

H.E.  Al Saleh highlighted the crucial need to strengthen collective efforts in advancing the widespread adoption of OIC Halal Tourism Standards, which contribute to the provision of tourism offers that meet the highest quality of Muslim travelers worldwide, thereby enhancing their confidence and satisfaction with tourism in the region.

Support cooperation in setting up environmentally friendly tourism projects:

In addition, H.E.  emphasized the UAE’s pioneering expertise in initiating such projects, which actively safeguard natural, cultural, and social heritage while supporting global sustainability objectives.

Last Updated on 1 week by Middle East News 247

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