Dubai simplifies regulations to stimulate tourism sector
Dubai has moved to further stimulate its vibrant tourism economy by simplifying the rules and financial obligations required to establish a tourism business in the emirate.
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has pledged to release around AED250 million ($68 million) in bank guarantees previously provided by tourism-related service providers in a bid to boost liquidity in the marketplace. It will also remove the prerequisite for new businesses looking to establish a presence in the market.
Dubai Tourism says the move will directly benefit more than 2,000 travel and tour operators and agencies in Dubai.
“As we head into 2019 with a commitment to significantly boost tourism arrivals in line with our 2022-2025 tourism strategy and vision to make Dubai the world’s most visited destination, relaxing regulations in support of the business community, especially supporting start-ups and SMEs, is fundamental for sustained sector growth,” commented Director-General of Dubai Tourism, H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri. “Tourism is a strong contributor to Dubai’s GDP and we intend to ensure that we sustainably enhance our economic value and aid the diversification agenda for the wider UAE.
“As such, this deregulatory measure that has been delivered with the support of the Department of Economic Development (DED), complements many of our other initiatives to provide much-needed impetus to the industry … Releasing of the bank guarantees generates an immediate cash injection of nearly a quarter billion dirhams for travel and tourism-related service providers to invest back into their businesses and truly drive future growth, in addition to being a very positive signal for prospect investors and new ventures to launch tourism projects by taking advantage of the quick and hassle-free processes in place.”
Previously, tourism companies including inbound and outbound tour operators were required to furnish a bank guarantee ranging from AED100,000 to AED600,000, depending on the type of business activity, to Dubai Tourism, as a precondition for DED to grant a trade licence.
The tourism sector has been a cornerstone of Dubai’s economic growth in the past decade. The city welcomed 15.8 million visitors in 2017, making it the world’s fourth most-visited destination.