UAE invests $4bn in Egypt tourism sector

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The UAE has invested $4 billion in the Egyptian tourism sector which accounts for 30% of total Arab investment in the country, a senior Egyptian government official has said.

Speaking at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, Hisham Zazo, the country's first assistant tourism minister, said on Wednesday that the sector comprises 11.3% of Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP) and 19.3% of the total investment made in foreign currencies, reported state news agency Wam.

"Egypt plans to attract 14 million holidaymakers and boost hotel capacity to 240,000 rooms by 2011," said Zazo at trade fair Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

Tourism is one of Egypt's key foreign currency earnings, along with Suez Canal receipts, remittances for Egyptian expatriates, and gas exports.

The senior official also said that Gulf Arab tourists visiting Egypt rose to 1.9 million in 2007 from 1.3 million in 2002, with revenues spiking to $2.2 billion per year.

"The number of UAE tourists to Egypt surged to 52,400 in 2007 from 32,000 in 2003," Zazo also said about Emirati visitors to the country.

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