Mumbai, December 12, 2016: Abu Dhabi, the capital and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is expecting more than 20 per cent increase in Indian tourist arrivals this year.
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“India has been the number one source market for us globally and we have been witnessing a steady growth in tourists coming to Abu Dhabi from the sub-continent.
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Country Manager, India, Bejan Dinshaw told PTI,“We are already in the last month of 2016, and are confident of seeing over 20 per cent growth this year.”
Abu Dhabi saw 2.8 lakh Indian tourists checking into hotels in 2015.
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With a large number of Indian expats living in Abu Dhabi, the actual number of visitors to the capital city is much more, he said.
Dinshaw said, the capital of UAE has already 2.36 lakh Indians staying in hotels and spending an average 3.2 nights till September this year.
After India, the other top tourist-generating markets for Abu Dhabi are China,Britain, Germany, and France.
He further said, “Indian are also among the top spenders in Abu Dhabi.”
“Indians love shopping and are the leading spenders in Abu Dhabi. To attract shoppers we celebrate ‘Summer Season’ (from June-September) during Ramzan, where many discounts and other schemes are offered,” the official said.
Abu Dhabi, placing itself as an affordable luxurious destination for Indians, is mainly targeting segments like wedding, honeymoons, family, single travellers, and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
With good connectivity – 250 flights a week connecting 15 Indian cities directly with Abu Dhabi – India will continue to remain a major source of holiday-makers coming to the city, he said.
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“For this purpose we are bullish on roadshows and joint marketing promotions (JMPs) with travel companies and local travel agents in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities.
Dinshaw added,“We aim to make Abu Dhabi the first choice of destination for Indians looking for long weekends and short breaks. And proximity and good connectivity gives Abu Dhabi an edge in this regard.”
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the launch of a safe and clean certification programme aiming to uplift and standardise the cleanliness and hygiene levels across all businesses and organisations in the tourism sector.
Through the current drive, the DCT Abu Dhabi aims to safeguard the health and wellbeing of consumers by offering certifications that ensure the compliance of standardised hygiene levels in tourism destinations and industry businesses within the emirate.
“Our priority is to ensure that our residents and visitors feel safe and comfortable in Abu Dhabi”, said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi , “and as hygiene and cleanliness have risen to become vital factors considered by all individuals today, we believe that it is imperative for all institutions and businesses to elevate and then maintain hygiene standards. As the leaders in tourism, our role is to pave the way for industry players and set standards that suit our consumers. Through this tourism board-led programme, we hope to boost the confidence of consumers when considering Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination. Our dedicated team has been working closely with different stakeholders to ensure that this programme considers all elements of health and safety and we encourage all hotels and industry partners to attain the certificate.”
The certification programme was developed in partnership with leading world developers and will be rolled out in phases. Phase one will be dedicated to hotels in Abu Dhabi, with other tourism attractions and businesses to follow. Interested organisations are strongly urged to follow DCT Abu Dhabi’s social media channels and website for updates regarding the program.
The latest initiative from DCT Abu Dhabi comes as part of the organisation’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of its residents and visitors, as well as its response to the change in consumer trends, behaviors, and expectations as a result of COVID-19.
The pandemic has called for many different hygiene measures across the globe, with governments rolling out a series of disinfection programs to ensure the safety of the public. In late March, the UAE launched the National Disinfection Programme as part of the preventive and precautionary measures taken by the UAE to contain the spread of COVID-19. The country was highly praised for its excellent intervention measures globally, which included health, hygiene, and safety regulations as well as other supportive schemes which consider the economic impact of COVID-19. (IANS)
More than 150,000 Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have registered to fly home during the coronavirus pandemic, as per the latest figures with the e-registration launched by the Indian missions.
“As of 6 p.m. on Saturday, we received more than 150,000 registrations,” Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul told Gulf News on Saturday.
A quarter of them want to return after losing their jobs, he said.
“About 40 per cent of the applicants are workers and 20 per cent are professionals. Overall, 25 per cent have cited job-loss as the reason for leaving the country.”
About 10 per cent of the applicants are visit/tourist visa holders who were stranded after the flight suspension and lockdown in India. The rest of the applicants include those with medical emergencies, pregnant women and students, Vipul said.
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The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai on Wednesday night began the e-registration for forming the database of their citizens wishing to fly home.
While there are Indians registering to return to various states, the Consul-General told Gulf News that 50 per cent of the applicants were from the state of Kerala.
Keralites comprise more than one million of the 3.4 million Indians in the UAE.
Vipul however, said the missions have not yet received intimations from the Indian government about the mode of transporting the stranded citizens, the pricing of the tickets or how the COVID-19 test results of applicants would be assessed for their journey.
“There are high-level discussions going on regarding these things,” he said, adding that the e-registration would be open “till the time the issue (of repatriating Indians wishing to return home) stablilises”. (IANS)
As the coronavirus pandemic dominates global news in the United States, progress toward the next presidential election scheduled to be held on November 3 moves slowly forward. President Donald Trump had no real opposition in the Republican party and is running for re-election. And it has now become apparent that former Vice President Joe Biden will be his opponent as the Democratic candidate for president.
What would a Trump victory bode for the future of US-India relations? What would a Biden victory bode? Let me answer each of those questions in turn.
Given the love fests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, Texas, in which Trump participated in September of 2019, and Trump’s ‘Namaste Trump’ event hosted by Modi in India in February of this year, it might be assumed that the future for US-India relations is a splendid one. This would be an incorrect assumption.
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Both of these events were more symbolic than substantive. Trump’s participation in them undoubtedly helped to persuade some — perhaps many — Indian American Modi supporters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 to cast their ballots for Trump in 2020. Trump’s campaign team took steps to ensure this by holding an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in which a group of prominent Indian Americans announced their plans to work for his re-election and to mobilize Indian Americans on his behalf.
To understand the future potential of India’s relations with the US. with Trump as president, however, it is necessary to look beyond these political moves and to examine the present state of those relations and Trump’s personal style.
In a word, the best way to characterize the current relations between the US and India is “functional”. The relationship was relatively good for the first two years of Trump’s presidency. In fact, near the end of 2018, Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, was quoted in the media s saying: “This has been a landmark year for US-India ties as we build out stronger relationships across the board.”
Then, in 2019, the relations went off the track in the first half of the year after the US and India got into a tit-for-tat tariff war after the US terminated India’s Generalized System of Preferences which allowed India to send certain goods to the US duty-free. There have been continuing efforts to structure a “modest” trade deal since then. It was thought there might be some type of deal done in September of 2019 while Modi was in the US by year’s end, and then during Trump’s India visit. But, as of today, there is still no deal.
This inability to get any meaningful trade agreement in place speaks volumes about India’s potential future relations with India with Trump as president. So, too does Trump’s style.
Trump’s campaign slogans this time around are “Keep America Great” and “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump is not a policy wonk and most of his effort will go toward “America First”. This involves making the US more isolated by withdrawing from international agreements, restructuring trade agreements, emphasizing building walls to stop immigrants at the border, using tariffs to block trade with countries who are taking away American jobs, and confronting businesses who are allegedlly stealing American trade secrets.
This perspective suggests what India can expect for its relations with the US if it has to deal with Trump for a second term as president. The relations will stay functional at best. As I have said before, that’s because the words partnership, cooperation and collaboration are not in Trump’s vocabulary. Nationalism, isolationism and protectionism are.
Joe Biden stands in stark contrast to President Trump both professionally and personally. Biden is a strategic thinker and doer with a solid eight-year track record of leadership experience as Vice-President in forging alliances that have made a difference around the world and he has also been a long-standing friend of India.
He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leading advocate for the Congressional passage of the Indo-US civic nuclear deal in 2005. At a dinner convened 10 years later in 2015 by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Vice President Biden discussed the tremendous joint progress that had been made by the two countries in the past and declared “We are on the cusp of a sea change decade.”
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Early in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in July of 2019, in laying out his foreign policy vision, Biden stated that the US had to reach out to India and other Asian partners to strengthen ties with them. The items on Biden’s foreign policy agenda for strengthening which are of importance for India include climate change, nuclear proliferation and cyberwarfare.
During his vice presidency, Biden worked side by side with President Barack Obama to do things that would contribute to achieving Obama’s vision stated in 2010 of India and America being “indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of our time.” In 2020, those challenges are even greater than they were a decade ago.
That is why it is so essential that India and the US develop a strategic relationship that enables them to become those indispensable partners. That can happen if Biden assumes the presidency on January 20, 2021. It cannot happen if Donald Trump remains as president for a second term.
The results of this upcoming election in the US matter greatly for the future of the United States. They matter greatly for the future of India-US relations as well. Time and the American electorate will tell what that future will be. (IANS)