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World

Dubai to merge economy, tourism departments, aims to attract 25mn tourists in 2025

  • Helal Al Marri will be appointed as director general of the new entity called the 'Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism'
Updated 08 Nov, 2021
Helal Al Marri was appointed director general of the merged entity. Picture courtesy: Gulf News
Helal Al Marri was appointed director general of the merged entity. Picture courtesy: Gulf News

As business activity picks up in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid an influx of tourists drawn to the Expo 2020 as well as the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, Dubai is aiming to attract 25 million tourists in 2025, a welcome sign for the Gulf state as the conversation moves away from the pandemic towards economic recovery.

As part of its efforts to achieve the milestone, Dubai will merge its departments of economy and tourism, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s Crown Prince, said on Twitter on Saturday.

Sheikh Hamdan, Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, added that Helal Al Marri will be appointed as director general of the new entity that would be called the 'Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism'.

The merger seeks to develop government work in Dubai and enhance its efficiency in order to keep pace with rapid changes while also ensuring the competitiveness of the business and tourism sectors in Dubai, reported the Emirates News Agency.

"The newly-formed department seeks to support the economic and tourism transformations taking place in the emirate. It will adopt the same competitiveness and efficiency of the private sector and work together with it on various development projects," Sheikh Hamdan was quoted as saying.

"Dubai’s economy has witnessed different phases of development throughout its history, which has helped shape the city’s current status as a model for economic development and a preferred destination for tourism. Today, our ambitions have grown bigger and our priorities have changed. Raising our global competitiveness requires new ways of thinking."

Strengthening Dubai's position

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the new department’s main objectives include increasing the added value of the industrial sector by 150% over the next five years, expanding foreign export markets for local products by 50%, and increasing the number of tourists by 40%, his media office said.

He added that the Emirate also wants to attract 100,000 companies in 3 years, 400 global economic events annually by 2025, and encourage private sector companies and family businesses to list on the financial markets and stock exchanges in Dubai.

The department will also work to promote Dubai’s competitiveness in attracting foreign investments, increase exports, support SMEs, and develop new plans for Dubai’s new economic sectors.

The new structure will support decision makers in developing policies and assessing the strategic performance of the economic sector.

New appointment

The announcement comes just days after the Committee for the Development of Capital Markets and Exchanges in Dubai also announced the new board of directors for the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) with Helal Al Marri as the chair.

The Minister of Finance directed the new board to develop plans and strategies to spur growth and double the size of Dubai's financial markets to Dh3 trillion in the coming period, reported Gulf News.

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