Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum has been dubbed the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the emirate’s tourism push. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 March 2019

Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors

  • The capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of dollars in industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil
  • ‘The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,’ said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s tourism department

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi has reduced tourism-related fees to help the ailing hospitality sector and attract more visitors as the oil-rich emirate looks to diversify its economy.
The Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) said on Tuesday it has reduced tourism fees from 6 to 3.5 percent, municipal fees from 4 to 2 percent and municipality hotel room fees per night from 15 dirhams ($4) to 10 dirhams.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of dollars in industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil.
Abu Dhabi is home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Warner Bros. world-themed indoor park and other attractions.
Two more museums, the Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum, are being built.
Neighboring Dubai welcomed a record 15.9 million tourists last year compared with Abu Dhabi’s 10 million hotel guests in 2018.
The move to reduce the fees came on the back of a study on Abu Dhabi’s hotels conducted by the DCT.
“The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT. “It is necessary to support this sector as it experiences difficulties to allow it to contribute to the achievement of future goals.”
The financial impact of the reduction in fees would be 1 billion dirhams over the next three years, he said.
DCT also plans to spend 500 million dirhams over the next three years toward marketing the emirate and attract tourists, as part of the Abu Dhabi government’s accelerators program called Ghadan 21.


UAE-led research recommends low risk cancer patients delay surgery amid COVID-19 crisis

Updated 07 April 2020

UAE-led research recommends low risk cancer patients delay surgery amid COVID-19 crisis

  • Report recommends each case still be considered for their individual needs
  • Low risk patients might be asked to consider delaying surgery

DUBAI: A global team of cancer treatment specialists, led by an Emirati physician, has published the first international medical recommendations for treating cancer patients during the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, which in some cases suggests surgery should be delayed, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

Led by Humaid Al-Shamsi, consultant of oncology and cancer diseases, and associate professor at the University of Sharjah and President of the Emirates Cancer Society, the study was funded by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and Roche.

Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, director-general of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, said supporting scientific research, especially during the current crisis, is one of the Foundation’s priorities.

“We have seen the dangers that cancer patients across the world are facing during the current coronavirus pandemic, as well as the absence of any international recommendations for treating them during the crisis,” Al Khouri  said.

“That is why we decided to bring together international experts to make recommendations as soon as possible, to establish a global reference for all cancer therapists.”

The study concluded that each case should be considered on their own individual needs, but this should include postponing surgery or chemotherapy for low risk patients, as well as minimizing outpatient visits.

Healthcare company, Roche, renewed its commitment to supporting scientific research and commended the determination shown by researchers, doctors and international pharmaceutical companies to curb COVID-19.