The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a roundtable discussion on “Expanding Tourism between Dubai and Azerbaijan” through its international representative Office in Baku at the Azerbaijan Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel recently.
The roundtable, organised on the side lines of the Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Fair 2013, was attended by Mr. Sanan Nasibli, Head of Dubai Chamber Representative Office in Azerbaijan, representatives from Dubai and Azerbaijani tour operators and agencies, the Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Dubai Chamber highlighted the emirate’s efforts in promoting Dubai as a world-class tourist destination while stressing on areas of cooperation for expanding tourism ties between Dubai and Azerbaijani investors. The roundtable also stressed on the Chamber’s strategy of reaching out to the promising markets of the world through its international representative offices while also promoting investment potential of Dubai for foreign investors and its status as a global hub for trade and tourism.
Mr. Mahir Gahramanov, Head of Internal Tourism Department, Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture and Tourism, spoke of his country’s latest efforts in fulfilling its tourism potential and his Ministry’s experience in attracting GCC tourists through participation in the Arabian Travel Market since 2004 in Dubai.
Mr. Gahramanov also shed light on his country’s luke-warm approach in the past to attract GCC tourists due to non-availability of 5-star hotel facilities, trained tourism staff and a complicated visa process.
However, Azerbaijan has overcome these obstacles with six global 5-star brands present in Baku, and the country now has an electronic visa processing system which he said will go a long way in increasing the number of GCC tourists coming to the scenic country.
Ms. Dayana Persan, General Manager, Atlantis Holidays (Dubai, UAE), which is the Official Representative Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the GCC, spoke of the uniqueness of the GCC market and the need for Azerbaijani tour operators and agents to better understand the GCC clients’ needs. She also expressed her office’s availability to help Azerbaijani companies promote their services while stressing on the e-visa system and availability of 5-star facilities as positive trends to promote GCC tourism to Azerbaijan.
Mr. Sergey Kanaev, Director of DTCM’s Russia and CIS Office in Moscow, Russia, informed that Azerbaijan holds the fourth place among the CIS countries in terms of total number of tourists traveling to Dubai stating that the positive developments taking place in Dubai’s tourism sector will help the emirate maintain its leadership in the region.
Azerbaijan is an economic leader in the South Caucasus region. It accounts for nearly 73% of the whole economy of this region and one of the leading economies in the CIS in terms of FDI per capita. The main sources of FDI for Azerbaijan are mainly from the UK, USA, Japan, Norway and Turkey. The cumulative FDI in 2011 amounted for approximately USD 4.4 billion.