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Sun 1 May 2011 06:41 PM

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UAE tourism gets boost from unrest, says flydubai CEO

Ghaith Al Ghaith says additional numbers of visitors lured by the security of UAE

UAE tourism gets boost from unrest, says flydubai CEO
flydubais CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Dubai and the UAE are seeing additional international tourists because of the political turmoil elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, flydubai's CEO said on Sunday.

On the eve of Arabian Travel Market, Ghaith Al Ghaith paid tribute to Dubai's leaders who "continued to develop the tourism infrastructure during the worst of the global economic crisis".

"Many people doubted Dubai for continuing to spend money on the development of hotels and associated tourism infrastructure at a time when people were cutting back on their travel spend," said Al Ghaith. "But Dubai was right."

He said Dubai and the UAE were continuing to see increases in the number of visitors, adding that without the development of the sector the country would not have been able to capitalise.

"These additional tourists and business travellers are coming for a variety of reasons, not least the recent turmoil in the region.

"People are putting Dubai and the UAE at the top of their leisure and business travel wish lists because they are very safe, comfortable and enjoyable destinations with something to offer to all types of travellers."

He added: "Dubai has been very smart in continuing to invest to ensure the country is ready to capitalise on the inevitable return to travel."

On flydubai, Al Ghaith said its growth throughout 2010 had been "phenomenal" and he was looking forward to continued expansion this year and years to come.

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