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   DUBAI TO HOST WTTC SUMMIT IN APRIL 2008

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced that Dubai will be the host state of the Global Travel & Tourism Summit taking place from April 20 to 22 next year.

At the official launch, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group and Mr. Geoffrey Kent, Chairman of WTTC and Chairman & CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, signed an accord establishing the industry’s most significant public-private partnership.

This partnership, comprising the Government of Dubai, Emirates, Jumeirah, Nakheel and WTTC, will guide the development of the Summit; an event which will bring industry and government leaders together in Dubai to discuss the priorities for the world’s largest generator of jobs and prosperity – Travel & Tourism.

His Highness welcomed WTTC and its Members to Dubai and expressed his vision for working together with international Travel & Tourism leaders to host the Summit which, he affirmed, would be a forum that would shape the future of the global industry.

Geoffrey Kent said: “Dubai is the world’s leading example of a state that has successfully embraced Travel & Tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. The government of Dubai is to be applauded for its long-term vision and commitment.”

DTCM Director General, Mr. Khalid Bin Sulayem, said: “The hosting of this important event in Dubai  fits with Dubai ’s vision and its plans for future growth.  We plan on showcasing to the international delegates Dubai ’s evolution as a world-class tourism destination, our commitment towards Sustainable Tourism and our plans to introduce Corporate Social Responsibility into the tourism industry in Dubai .” 

“In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Strategic Plan identifies Tourism as one of the major contributors to the Dubai  economy and a crucial sector for future growth. We have taken this vision on board and aligned the Tourism Strategic Plan to that of Dubai . With this very forward thinking and visionary leadership, Tourism in Dubai and the current excellent growth is projected to continue into the future.” 

The WTTC President Mr. Jean-Claude Baumgarten, said: “Encouraged by WTTC’s signature ‘in the round’ format, the active participation of all delegates and the frank exchange of ideas from all countries of the world will influence decisions taken by industry leaders, assuring a long-term and responsible view of Travel & Tourism. The Summit in Dubai will provide the ideal platform to broadcast the unity of our leaders in ensuring a sustainable future.”

Tourism contributes 30 per cent to Dubai 's economy and will play a major role in the emirate's target of tripling its gross domestic product (GDP) to $112 billion by 2015, said Sheikh Ahmad. The Dubai government unveiled a strategy earlier this year that calls for annual economic growth of 11 per cent.

Dubai 's hotels and apartment hotels last year received about 6.5 million visitors that contributed US$3.5 billion to the emirate's economy.Sheikh Ahmad credited Dubai  's rise as a tourist destination to joint efforts by the public and private sectors.  

Dozens of new hotels are under construction to accommodate the expected rise in visitors to the emirate. Dubai had 40,862 rooms in 302 hotels and 111 serviced apartment properties at the end of 2006. The city aims to attract 15 million tourists by 2015.


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