Dubai has attracted the attention of the tech community from India: Yousuf Lootah

Dubai has attracted the attention of the tech community from India: Yousuf Lootah – Mail Bonus

In an interview with ET, Yousuf Lootah, Director of Tourism Development and Investment at the Dubai Tourism and Trade Marketing Department, said that with bilateral agreements signed between the two governments, many Indian companies are expanding around Dubai. He said that one of the key things that Dubai has succeeded in doing last year has been to bring the attention of the tech community from India. Lootah also spoke about the increase in visitors to Dubai, the golden visa program and the retirement of Dubai programs, and the sustainability initiative that is running around the city. Modified excerpt:

Q: According to the latest data released by the Dubai Ministry of Economy and Tourism (DET), the city received 3.97 million international night visitors between January and March 2022, up from 1.27 million visitors in the same period last year, which corresponds to 214 percentage points. Increase in visits year by year What would you attribute this growth to?
A: I think the numbers speak for themselves in terms of the confidence of the international community and tourists in what Dubai could offer them in terms of security, accommodation and experience. This did not happen overnight. It is the will of the government, the leadership and government agencies that worked together to ensure business continuity and the security of residents and tourists in general. Dubai had the highest level of vaccinations and the lowest number of infections and deaths. At the same time, trading did not stop. And in the last two years, it has resonated globally with business and leisure travelers.

It improved their confidence. We have seen tremendous growth as a result. When it comes to the number of stay visas issued, the UAE government has taken advantage of this innovation. We introduced telecommuting visas, a five-year tourist visa was issued among the package of the golden visa, which is generally offered to investors and people with expertise. I think the impact of the pandemic in terms of the difference between what other destinations dealt with and how they dealt with it versus how we responded to it has increased.

So some destinations were completely closed to international tourists and also began to create challenges for the foreign business community. For us, it’s about having all these solutions and offering a whole other level of vaccination services, healthcare and connecting it to the security of Dubai in general and the technical functionality of the city. There are people who came and stayed from a travel point of view and then there were people who moved to make Dubai their second home.

Q: Please share more information about the Golden Visa Program and the exit plan for Dubai?
The retirement plan is part of all the innovations that the UAE government is developing. The United Arab Emirates is home to almost every nation in the world, and because of the community’s tolerance, recognition, it has begun to be their first home. In line with their vision of making the United Arab Emirates a leading trading partner, the government has been involved in many innovations and reforms in all areas, from regulations to banking to housing supply to trade, one of which is naturalization and immigration. side.

To that end, His Majesty recently awarded the Golden Visa to the doctors and scientists working on the pandemic. Along with improvements or rules on ownership, where foreigners can be 100% owned by foreigners, it brings increased trust. The Golden Visa is the additional and activation offer for people to make Dubai and the United Arab Emirates their permanent home or at least one other base for much of the year. The golden visa is divided between an investor’s golden visa, which is a ten-year visa where the individual strengthens himself and he can support his spouse, spouse, children and dependents. Even unmarried women are eligible and daughters can bring their parents.

The pension is a 5-year course. It is self-sustaining and people can continue to live in Dubai. When you retire, you want to experience the world. So there is no better hub for traveling the world than Dubai Airport and Emirates Airlines. It is a very good visa to have. A visa holder could support a spouse and children. The Golden Visa also has a Golden Entrepreneur visa for people who are focused on strengthening their start-ups and companies from Dubai. It’s a golden visa for high-achieving students. All of these housing solutions are aimed at getting foreigners who are not natural to stay here anymore.

Recently, His Majesty Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Chief of Staff of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, also announced incentives to implement and involve local people in the private sector and incentives for the business community to dominate locally. We also held the inauguration of the event for one million programmers led by Dubai and the UAE Government, which nurtures talent. The other thing we have been working on is to make Dubai an international center of business communities across technology and traditional companies.

We have seen a huge influx of upcoming companies to Dubai and have created a lot of opportunities. One of the key things they are looking for is the ability to retain their talents and it was one of the best places to increase retention. The appetite for expansion through Dubai for many Indian companies has also increased with bilateral agreements between governments.

Q: You have said before that you also want to enable many start-ups to grow in Dubai. How has the response from the ecosystems of the Indian start-ups been? Given the number of unicorns we have in India, would you consider any special incentives for Indian start-ups?
One of the things that Dubai has done well in the last 12 months is to draw the attention of the tech community from India. We’ve seen a lot of appetite from that community at different levels – from row A, and all the way to the unicorn position. Founders and talents consider Dubai as a technology hub. Talented people are vulnerable and dangerous. Keeping them happy is also part of the solution and not just the money. When Indian companies bring in staff from Eastern Europe, America or East Asia, Dubai, because of its experience as the world’s boiling pot, makes it easier for them to run and integrate into society. Our security infrastructure for personal security Our educational infrastructure is among the best in the world. We have seen many companies look at Dubai in a very practical way in terms of considering us a viable option when considering moving. We have been very successful in attracting a large number of companies throughout the growth cycle, not only from India but also from Europe, Asia and Africa.

Q: How has investment in tourism gone during the pandemic? Have they gone up or down after the Covid epidemic according to other needs such as health care?
I would not be able to share numbers, but from a qualitative point of view, the goal is to develop the whole sector. One of them is health care. We continue to expand and improve our medical infrastructure and healthcare. We have seen the importance of medical tourism. We work closely with the Ministry of Health and the Dubai Health Authority to ensure that we prioritize key medical tourism specialties. There’s a connection to that. There is also involvement in improving drug production so that there is a tie. In terms of tourism, there is a stable level of infrastructure when it comes to our ability to stay overnight, for example, the number of visitors is very high and it is a very good sign that we are on track to achieve the goals that are being set for 2025. We are hopefully looking at special custom lifestyle experiences as well as adding more resources and increasing the availability based on origin markets. We are in a situation where we have turned back from the downturn of the pandemic and one of the things we have done during that period is that the government of Dubai and the economy and tourism in Dubai have done a great deal to support operators in staying. floating and support them in reducing fees, deferrals, waiving fees, etc.

Sp. Sustainability is an issue that is close to you. Please share some information about the new initiatives you have launched around sustainability.

One of the key goals of Dubai’s Economy and Tourism Department is to align itself with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Dubai is committed to ensuring that many sustainability goals are achieved at the urban level, and for us in the tourism industry, one of the key things we worked on from the beginning is to ensure that we continue to achieve carbon. emissions reduction in tourism.

One of the key contributions to climate change is carbon emissions, which is why it was a priority, and we are working with other government agencies to manage waste and achieve the main SDG goals of the UN related to the tourism sector. We have achieved good numbers during that period because we worked with the industry to train, educate and get them to make sustainability a core part of the business and at the top of the list when it comes to annual planning. We spent time educating about 600 establishments.

The guidelines in our policy are generally based on creating educational plans, performance monitoring, regulations and goals and celebrating with the industry and creating awards and innovation. One of the key things that was done beyond achieving carbon emissions improvements on the baselines of 2014 is to get many companies to think about creating a regulation that covers 19 aspects of hotel operations that, when done correctly, have a huge impact not only on carbon emissions but also on the industry’s general resources. We are the first global destination to have implemented sustainability standards in the hospitality sector. We have a high substitution score and a lot of consistency, in the range of 80-90%.

We collaborated with hotels and experts when we designed the regulations. We have set ourselves easily acceptable goals. As we move forward, we will increase our goals. The Dubai can bottles are an important part of trying to reduce disposable plastic cans from our value chain. Many hotels have implemented refill plans where they fill glass bottles or aluminum cans. In terms of community and general awareness, we have introduced 30 contactless fountains across the city. This is free to fill for a lifetime. We will add another 20 before the end of June.

The goal is to keep that in mind so that people can remember and fill in the blanks. It makes a big difference when we do it together. We have seen a lot of purchases from companies and individuals who share their experiences through social media. Another is the ban on disposable plastic bags. It will be launched from 1 July. We are going to prioritize retail bags as we are moving towards a total ban on disposable plastic bags hopefully after two years in different spaces.

This is launched in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality, the Executive Council and ourselves. We are working to have an easy transition for the whole community. We are very excited that we are creating a great impact on the planet. We also have new regulations with sustainability goals so we are ensuring that everyone thinks about this in the business models.

Q: How important is the tourism infrastructure program according to the Urban Plan 2040?

A: Our goal with the 2040 City Master Plan is to make Dubai the city of the future. Taking into account innovations and changes in life. To increase happiness, to improve transportation efficiency. In terms of reducing our environmental impact and enhancing the experience across Dubai, the design of the program aims to create a future city, a digital city, and the municipality of Dubai aims to do much more to create investment opportunities. From our point of view, as a spare part of the ecosystem, our main focus is to ensure that the accommodation sector and the experience of tourism remain ahead of the line.

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