Egypt Tourism Authority opens first regional office in Gulf

The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) announced Monday the official launch of its first office in Arab Gulf region. The new office locates in Abu Dhabi, which commenced operations early this month.

The establishment of ETA’s first office in the region, which was initially announced by Egyptian Tourism Minister, Khaled Ramy, during Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in May 2015. The launch is in line with the Authority’s strategy to promote tourism in Egypt across Arab markets, particularly within the Gulf region – a key element of the Masr Qariba campaign.

The office was inaugurated during a ceremony attended by Ehab Hamouda, Egyptian Ambassador to the UAE, Sami Mahmoud, Chairman of ETA, and Ahmed Ali, Head of ETA’s Abu Dhabi office, who were joined by a number of prominent public figures, diplomatic representatives and members of the media.

Sami Mahmoud, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, said, “The opening of our new Abu Dhabi office is an important milestone for ETA, which reflects the strong ties we have with our neighbors in the Arab world. The UAE has always been a strong supporter of Egypt and is one of the country’s key tourism markets. The launch is a key element of the strategic plan developed by the Ministry of Tourism and ETA to attract 20 million visitors to Egypt by 2020, and drive tourism revenues to reach $26 billion.”

During the first half of 2015, visitor numbers to Egypt increased by 20%. Hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, Ein El Sokhna, Ras Sedr, and Hurghada also reported 100% occupancy levels during Eid al-Fitr. Visitors primarily travelled from Arab countries, particularly within the Gulf region.

During the coming months, the Ministry is set to focus on Nile tourism and also promote cultural tourism by providing programmes which combine both beach and cultural destinations.

Ahmed Ali, Head of the ETA office in Abu Dhabi, said, “We are striving to explore new horizons in our tourism partnerships with Arab nations, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman and Lebanon in particular. I look forward to collaborating with a number of stakeholders including airlines and tour operators to offer competitive packages for Arab tourists and to develop programs which cater to all communities and nationalities within the UAE. We are also keen to continue our work with local media, which have played a major role in promoting what Egypt has to offer across these key markets.”

ETA’s new Abu Dhabi Office is in the process of collaborating with all airlines that cater to the Egyptian market, by launching direct flights to Sharm El Sheikh, the Red Sea and the North Coast in Egypt. Among these is Egypt Air, which has recently announced new flights from Dubai to Cairo to be launched at the beginning of September 2015, bringing the total number of flights from Dubai to Cairo to three flights daily.

He concluded, “As we prepare to launch the Ministry of Tourism and ETA’s new 2015-2018 campaign, which will be implemented across 27 source markets, attracting tourists from Arab markets, particularly in the Gulf region is a top priority. Egypt will continue to welcome visitors from Arab nations, with which the country has always shared strong historical, geographical, social and cultural ties.”