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Thu 5 Jul 2018 04:48 PM

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UAE launches new project to promote ecotourism

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announces the National Ecotourism Project

UAE launches new project to promote ecotourism
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

The UAE has launched the National Ecotourism Project which aims to position the country as a leading green holiday destination.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) announced the launch as global travel and tourism trends indicate an emergence of ecotourism, a concept widely embraced by tourists who seek to leave no ecological footprint behind while travelling.

"Over the past few years, the pioneering vision and directives of the UAE leadership have enabled the country to consolidate its leading global status across diverse sectors, with travel and tourism at the forefront," said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in comments published by news agency WAM.

Last year, the UAE recorded nearly 15.87 million tourists, up 6.5 percent over 2016, with revenues amounting to AED118.8 billion.

He said: "The national ecotourism project is a result of the country's commitment to preserving the environment, a commitment instilled in its people by the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."

The project will promote the country's eco-tourism attractions in three phases that focus on environmental, economic and social factors.

MoCCAE said it is currently working on the pilot phase that includes making ample information and promotional footage available under the theme The UAE’s Natural Wonders, to showcase the rich biodiversity across the country’s 43 protected areas.

While protected areas distributed over 130 countries constitute only five percent of the total surface of the earth, in the UAE, they make up 14 percent of the territory, according to the United Nations.

The ministry is about to launch a dedicated website and app for tablets and smartphones to raise awareness of the protected areas, it added.

In the next phase, the ministry plans to update the website and app with geographic locations and detailed information on eco-friendly flights, hotels, beaches and campsites.

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