The Ministry of Economy has successfully organized recently a tourism road show in the Republic of India under the theme ‘Visit UAE.' The tour across three major Indian cities featured the participation of tourism departments and authorities from the Emirates, other local government entities concerned with the tourism sector and a group of tourism institutions and companies, including aviation, major attractions, hotels and tour and travel agencies in the country.
The road show initially took place in Bangalore, South India, then moved to Ahmedabad city and concluded in Mumbai, Northwest India. The event covered number of activities and events aimed at highlighting UAE tourist attractions--introducing landmarks, services and facilities provided by the national tourism sector from the emirates.
Commenting on the importance of the event, H.E. Mohammed Khamis Al Mheiri, Advisor to the Minister of Economy for Tourism Affairs, said that the UAE's wise leadership attaches great importance to the development of the tourism sector, which is seen as one of the economic diversification pillars and represents an important step in the move to support the transition to a post-oil economy. He also shared that the MOE's efforts fall in line with the goal of UAE Vision 2021 to position the UAE among the best sustainable tourism destinations in the world.
H.E. Al Mheiri added that India is one of the UAE's leading strategic economic partners and the second largest trading partner in 2016. The country also represents a vital tourist market—highlighted by the large number of recorded Indian visitors and tourists that come to visit various UAE emirates and tourist attractions. To date, tourists and visitors from India represent 10 per cent of the total number of visitors recorded in 2016, which reached 24.9 million. The figures consolidate the position of the Indian market as an important destination o of tourism promotion and cooperation with the UAE.
H.E. Al Mheiri also underscored the major role played by the civil aviation sector in supporting tourism exchange between India and the UAE, which provides dynamic air transport with multiple solutions and various options for tourists. Both countries are linked to each other via 1,065 flights per week.
The number of visitors from India increased from 2.3 million visitors in 2016 to approximately 2.6 million in 2017-- showing a growth rate of up to 12.8 per cent according to data from UAE's tourism development departments and authorities. In contrast, the number of UAE visitors to India has increased from about 55.8 thousand in 2015 to more than 67.1 thousand in 2016, with a growth rate of up to about 19 per cent, according to the World Tourism Organization, which demonstrates the significant role played by the exchange of tourism between the two countries.
Abdullah Al-Hammadi, Director of the National Tourism Program at the Ministry of Economy, delivered a speech that focused on what the UAE offers to its visitors--a unique and rich tourism experience attributed to its diversity and the unique offerings presented by each of the seven emirates, like natural landscapes, historical landmarks and other attractive tourist destinations available for the visitors, particularly in the field of hospitality and entertainment and meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE). Al Hammadi invited tourists from the Republic of India to explore the UAE experience its tourism environment and benefit from its services and attractive offers.