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Tourism growth unstoppable in Dubai

His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum predicts golden days ahead for the UAE's tourism and travel industries.

Tourism in Dubai is set to double within three years, according to His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister.

His Highness made the prediction after opening Arabian Travel Market 2001, the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism exhibition, at the Dubai World Trade Centre today.

“The impact of Dubai’s projected growth within the tourism sector has hardly been felt yet,” His Highness said. “What you see now in Dubai is less than 10% of what our vision holds. More giant projects are in the pipeline. Dubai is the business hub for the Gulf and Arabian Travel Market plays a vital role in getting the travel trade from the region and the world together,” he said.

Sheikh Mohammed went on to predict that tourism to the Emirates will grow sixfold within the next decade. He also backed moves between countries to cross-promote the entire Gulf area as a high end travel destination.

“We have started working on this already by issuing one visa for tourists to the UAE and Oman,” His Highness said. “One of the major steps forward for Dubai has been the relaxation of visa laws for visitors from 19 countries. This will help bring elite tourism to the UAE.”

This year’s Arabian Travel Market occupies 8,000 square metres of space, 900 square metres more than last year. 782 companies are exhibiting on 216 stands.

First time visitors looking to promote themselves as overseas destinations include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

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