Visiting other countries is a way to connect across the big blue planet earth, and tourism makes up an essential part of the bridges built between different sides of the globe. For the occasion of one of the biggest travel shows, the World Travel Market, being held in London this week, the UAE embassy, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy, hosted a reception and dinner. The event on Monday November 4th launched the first edition of the UAE Travel and Tourism event.
The assembly promoted Travel and Tourism sectors from the UAE. The seven different emirates from the federation each introduced themselves individually and presented recent progress and new goals for tourism, but also showcased their desire to unite. The representative for Sharjah, Khalid Jasmin Al Midfa, said this represents “seven emirates, one destination.”
In attendance was also the ambassador of the UAE to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul. UK Government representatives were also present, as were representatives of the UAE Tourism and Culture Authorities of all seven emirates.
Ambassador Abulhoul started the evening off with his opening words. “I had a busy first day at the World Travel Market, and I’m looking forward to the next few days. I had a chance to look around the show today, and I had a great time,” he said, adding that he felt homesick after seeing the UAE’s display at WTM.
Over the course of the evening, videos were shown illustrating the beauty of the UAE and showcasing opportunities available to tourists who are looking for experiences in sports, or want to explore nature, architecture, art, and culture.
Abu Dhabi re-established its position as the fastest-growing destination in the region and asked potential visitors who were worried about safety to keep in mind that for several years in a row, it had been designated as the safest city in the world.
From Dubai, attendees were assured of commitments to UK travellers. The emirate declared its plan to branch out from the world of superlatives related to luxury, shopping and hotels into the areas of food, arts and culture, wellness, and more.
A new project from Dubai introduced the idea of health tourism. “Why not include surgery in your experience?” asked Linda Abdullah, a Consultant to the Health Tourism Department who presented a new project, the Dubai Health Experience.
The representative from Sharjah championed healthy competition but asked attendees to bear in mind the importance of complementing each other.
Ajman declared itself as “small in size” but with “the biggest heart”. Meanwhile, Umm Al Quwain reminded attendees of its beautiful islands. All emirates came with footage of various beautiful landscapes, architecturally-diverse buildings, and inviting hotels.
Ras Al Khaimah, meanwhile, was described as an adventurous destination for active travellers. Highlights included canyoning to Jebel Jais zipline, which is the longest in the world. Fujairah focused on promoting its incredible seaside life, which provides opportunities to go scuba diving, snorkelling and more.
An additional goal of the evening was to promote the Expo 2020. The World Expo will be hosted by Dubai, with a scheduled opening for October 20th 2020.
The chief commercial officer for Expo 2020, Sanjive Khosla, emphasised the importance of the incredible project, saying it "brings together incredible talent from all over the world to build what we call the world’s greatest show.”