Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1552386107825427800
Tue, 2019-03-12 13:29

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi has reduced tourism-related fees to help
the ailing hospitality sector and attract more visitors as the
oil-rich emirate looks to diversify its economy.
The Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) said on Tuesday it
has reduced tourism fees from 6 to 3.5 percent, municipal fees from
4 to 2 percent and municipality hotel room fees per night from 15
dirhams ($4) to 10 dirhams.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of
dollars in industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its
economy away from oil.
Abu Dhabi is home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand
Prix, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Warner Bros. world-themed indoor
park and other attractions.
Two more museums, the Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum, are
being built.
Neighboring Dubai welcomed a record 15.9 million tourists last year
compared with Abu Dhabi’s 10 million hotel guests in 2018.
The move to reduce the fees came on the back of a study on Abu
Dhabi’s hotels conducted by the DCT.
“The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,” said Saif
Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT. “It is necessary to support
this sector as it experiences difficulties to allow it to
contribute to the achievement of future goals.”
The financial impact of the reduction in fees would be 1 billion
dirhams over the next three years, he said.
DCT also plans to spend 500 million dirhams over the next three
years toward marketing the emirate and attract tourists, as part of
the Abu Dhabi government’s accelerators program called Ghadan
21.

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Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors