New consul-general wants to boost tourism in Thailand

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New consul-general wants to boost tourism in Thailand
Consul General Unnop Buranasate, Consul General of Thailand to the UAE during an interview at his residence at the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Photo by Dhes Handumon

Dubai - Thailand is also expected to receive many tourists this coming Eid.


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 7 Sep 2016, 6:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Sep 2016, 9:37 PM

121,300 - number of UAE residents who visited Thailand last year
8,000 - Thai expats in Dubai and northern emirates (12,000 in the entire UAE)
$18.5 billion (Dh 67.5b) - Thai imports from the UAE
$10.3b (Dh37.6b) - Thai exports to the UAE
Newly-appointed Thai consul-general Unnop Buranasate is looking to further boost the status of Thailand as a top tourist destination among UAE residents, the diplomat said on Wednesday. 
Buranasate, who arrived in Dubai four months ago, said: "My vision is to see the UAE-Thailand relations going stronger, with Thailand being a 'tourist-hunter' during my time of duty here." 
Last year, the southeast Asian country - famous for its beaches, received around 121,300 visitors from the UAE. Many of the tourists were Emiratis and nationals from Middle Eastern and South Asian countries. 
Thailand is also expected to receive many tourists this coming Eid. The Thai consulate has reported that they have already reached their quota for visa application until September 7. Emiratis, nationals of Asean countries and some nationalities are given free visa to enter the country. 

Although there was no apparent decrease of visitors from the UAE, Thailand, however, has seen a 2.9 per cent drop in over-all tourist arrivals this year as compared to last year, according to Buranasate. 
The consul-general said the recent spate of bombings in Thailand could have contributed to the decline of tourists but he assured visitors that measures have been put in place to ensure security. The Thai government is also closely monitoring Zika virus and has conducted several information campaign to prevent it from getting into the country. 
But it is not only in the field of tourism that Thailand wants to have a strong relationship with the UAE. Buranaste, who was previously posted in Stockholm, Sweden before coming to Dubai, said cultural exchanges between the two countries will also be strengthened. 
According to Buranasate, the Thai government will expand its program of inviting fashion design students and young designers from the UAE to Thailand to study Thai fabric and attend workshop. 
He said the activity will not only give students a new perspective of a different culture but will also enhance their knowledge in fashion design while, in return, Thai fabric will get international recognition. 
In terms of trade relations, Buranaste recognises the big contribution of the UAE to Thai economy with 33 per cent of its overall oil import coming from here. Last year, the total imports of Thailand from the UAE reached $18.5 billion (Dh 67.5b) while its exports totalled $10.3b (Dh37.6b). 
The Thai consul-general, a lawyer by profession who holds a Master of Laws in Commercial Law from University of Bristol in UK, is also looking to enhance the quality of life of his more than 8,000 compatriots in Dubai. 
Since May, Buranasate has already worked on at least three cases of Thai expats who complained about their employers for non-payment of salary.
A consular outreach program has been set on September 23 for Thai expats to discuss their working conditions, raise their standard of living and make them familiar with UAE laws and regulations, Buranasate said. 

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