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Chamber explores Lanka’s tourism potential

Staff Report (business@khaleejtimes.com)
Filed on October 1, 2013
Chamber explores Lankaís tourism potential

Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has called upon Sri Lankan companies to share Dubaiís experience in the tourism sector which is one of the leading drivers of the emirateís economic growth.

Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah at Sri Lanka wTourism Promotion Seminar in Dubai on Monday. — Supplied photo

In its drive to promote tourism, the island country can benefit from Dubai’s diversified economy which is working to support the tourism industry and drive new growth through a number of visitor-friendly initiatives, said Al Ghurair.

He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Seminar organised by Dubai Chamber in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy as he also urged Dubai businesses to invest in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector which offers ample investment opportunities due to the country’s open door policy and close proximity to the UAE.

Welcoming the Sri Lankan delegation headed by M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, deputy minister of Economic Development (Tourism), Al Ghurair stated that the UAE was well connected to the island country with Emirates airline and a number of Sri Lankan carriers flying direct services between Dubai and Colombo. He also pointed out the presence of 270 Sri Lankan companies operating under the aegis of Dubai Chamber and expressed his desire to see these numbers increase, especially in the tourism sector, for the enhancement of trade and tourism between the two countries.

Also speaking during the event were Dr Mahinda Balasuriya, ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, deputy minister of Economic Development (Tourism), and M.M. Raheem, consul general of Sri Lanka in Dubai.

In his keynote address, Hizbullah lauded the economic development of Dubai which he said has set an example for growing economies of the world to follow stating that Sri Lanka serves as the point of entry to South Asia and has become a major global logistics hub due to rapid development of various sectors particularly in the port and aviation segments.

Hizbullah, added that tourism is the first beneficiary of peace and political stability in the country. Sri Lanka has seen a rapid increase in tourist arrivals and last year the country recorded over one million tourists and is poised to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2015.


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