Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has revealed that the idea is to create a federal body that deals with international travel and tourism-related agreements is planned and details of it will be soon provided.
“This new body planned, is a recognition of the importance of tourism to the UAE and I think it’s a very positive step,” ADTA director general His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi said.
“When you have an international agreement with a country, you need a federal body to handle that. For example, UNESCO prefers to deal with a state rather than a local body, so it will be very useful for agreements at that level and less confusing.”
He said the new tourism board will be actually a federal Tourism council which is still in the process of being formed, but stressed that local authorities such as the ADTA and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) would still have the same “flexibility and power” to undertake their usual tasks
“Tourism is a big sector in the UAE and a federal body will provide a clearer structure for it,” said Al Muhairi. “Now issues on visas etc can be dealt with at federal level making life easier for everyone.”
Dubai Convention Bureau director Jerad Bachar expressed his views that he believed the reaction to such a tourism board would be “mixed” across the tourism industry. “It’s something everyone is willing to consider, but everything we have done in the past has been very focused on Dubai,” he said. “Everyone would be interested to hear how it will work, but some would go into it with caution.”
He was speaking as the DTCM announced the launch of its inaugural Middle East Tourism Marketing Summit (METMS), which will take place in Dubai in December and will advise some of the top industry executives how best to market tourism.