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The UAE will host the Ministerial Forum of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and the 42nd UNWTO Commission for the Middle East on 24th April, on the sidelines of the Arab Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai. The ministerial forum of UNWTO and ATM Forum will be held under the patronage and attendance of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and will see participation of several speakers, including the ministers of tourism from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, and several agents and officials from the tourism sector in the Arab countries, besides Dr. Taleb Al Rifai, the Secretary-General for the World Tourism Organisation, as well as representatives of the prominent private sector establishments in the field of tourism and travel.

The ministerial forum sheds light on the contribution of tourism towards sustainable economic growth and diversity in the Middle East and North Africa and will be held within the framework of celebration of the initiative of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, which was launched by the UN in December 2016 to strengthen the tourism sector to achieve the goals of sustainable development 2030 across the countries of the world.

The 42nd meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Middle East, which will see participation by Mohamed Khamis Al Muhairi, the Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and the Minister’s Advisor for Tourism Affairs, and several tourism agents and officials, discussed the activities of the UNWTO, and its efforts to strengthen sustainable tourism.

Tourism is one of the prominent non-oil sectors prioritised by the wise leadership of the country for the development of its economy, as it contributes significantly towards diversifying the economic base and widening income sources, besides strengthening the sustainability factors to set up a strong base for the post oil era, Al Mansouri said.

He noted that both events represent important platforms to discuss the challenges and opportunities available for investments in the tourism sector in the region, and to implement strategies that would increase sustainable tourism development, and build fruitful partnerships between the public and private sectors in this field, besides establishing the role of innovation in the field of tourism services and solutions.

The minister stressed the importance of the efforts made by the UNWTO in strengthening co-operation and co-ordination among the member countries and providing expertise and knowledge that contribute towards enhancing tourism in the region.

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