The Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing has initiated efforts to release approximately AED250 million (£53 million) in bank guarantees that have been furnished by tourism-related service providers, following the waiver of this prerequisite regulatory requirement to start a travel and tour business in the emirate.
The new deregulatory measure allows for instant liquidity to be injected into Dubai’s economy, lowering the cost of doing business and supporting further investment in the sector ecosystem.
Aligned with a directive from sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, to accelerate the emirate’s economic growth through relative strategic and regulatory initiatives, Dubai Tourism has sought to directly benefit over 2,000 tour operators and agencies.
Announcing the new measure, director general of Dubai Tourism, Helal Saeed Almarri, said: “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 small and medium sized enterprises, is fundamental for sustained sector growth.
“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.”
He added: “As such, this deregulatory measure that has been delivered with the support of the department of economic development, complements many of our other initiatives to provide much-needed impetus to the industry, based on the landmark economic stimulus initiative launched by the visionary leadership of Dubai earlier this year to make it easier to operate and grow a business in Dubai.
“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 department of economic development to grant a trade license.
Cancellation of this provision enables Dubai Tourism to refund the bank guarantees to the companies providing much-needed funds to reinvest in their business and grow their services.
Similarly, going forward for all new ventures, investors and entrepreneurs will also no longer need to provide such bank guarantees to Dubai Tourism either to open a tourism establishment or to offer specific travel or tour-related services and activities in Dubai.
Dubai Tourism had earlier introduced three proposals to support the government’s economic stimulus programme, namely, to attract more transit passengers to visit Dubai, introduce the time share concept to woo more families to the emirate and to encourage more luxury yachts and boats to visit Dubai.
The news comes at an exciting time for tourism in Dubai.
The emirate will welcome Arabian Travel Market in April, the preeminent trade show for Middle Eastern tourism, while also hosting the World Spa Awards later in the year.
Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism’s mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate.
Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector.
It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector, and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents.
The organisation last year celebrated being recognised as both the World’s Leading MICE Destination and Middle East’s Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards.