Bartlett Pursues Bid for Middle East Travel Market

Jamaica’s effort to get a foothold in the lucrative United Arab Emirates (UAE) travel market gets a major push this week

The Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is travelling to Dubai to participate in the Arabian Travel Market trade show from May 1 to 4 and other key events. He arrived in Dubai on Saturday, ahead of starting a round of business meetings today (May 1) with tourism stakeholders and a series of interviews with leading media entities that have a wide reach into the business and travel markets.

“Our visit to Dubai is crucial to the inroads we have been making into this travel market and moves us a step closer to cementing relationships that have already been established. Our primary focus is on the lucrative Arabian Travel Market event and the World Free Zones Organization’s Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE 2023) currently being held in Dubai,” says Minister Bartlett.

The AICE is a premier event that brings together policymakers, industry leaders, investors, and experts from around the world to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the global free zones industry and is being held from May 1 to 3.

The event comes against the background of efforts by the government of Jamaica to expand its stake in free zones.

In the area of tourism, the internationally recognized firm Statista, projects that UAE’s travel and tourism market will produce revenue of US$1.28 billion this year “and we are making progress which should allow us to get a slice of that market,” says Mr Bartlett.

He also states that while Jamaica is spearheading this thrust, “our goal is to have the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay serve as a hub for the Caribbean whereby travellers from the UAE will have the option of booking multi destinations and experience the varied and exciting cultural offerings of the islands in the region.”

Over the next five days, Mr. Bartlett’s itinerary includes a host of meetings, including with top government and private sector leaders as well as investors.

Among them: Krishna Rao, Founding Partner and Co-CIO at ARP Global Capita; COP28 President-designate, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; the G-77 and China Ministers of Tourism; Senior Vice President, Mastercard, Andrea Prazakova; UAE’s Minister of Economy, H.E. Abdulla Bin TouqAl Marri; Representatives form Emirates Airlines; and Vice Minister of Tourism, HE Ghada Shalaby of Egypt. Minister Bartlett will also participate in an International Travel and Health Insurance (ITIC) Ministerial panel and Resilience Council session.

Minister Bartlett returns to the island on Friday, May 12, 2023.


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Kingsley Roberts

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Linda Hohnholz