Dubai to introduce further regulations for desert tour, camp operators

Dubai Tourism said it has created a more “manageable and cohesive” set of rules



Desert camp and tour operators in Dubai are set to face more new regulations, the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealed on Sunday.

The new rules are updates to the Desert Tour and Camp regulations first introduced in May 2016, a statement said.

Dubai Tourism has created a more “manageable and cohesive” set of rules which will be rolled out to desert camp and tour operators in stages to ensure smooth implementation, it added.

The revisions are intended to “enhance the emirate’s popular desert experiences, elevate the sector’s standards and bolster Dubai’s reputation as an adventure hub with a distinct and diverse offering”.

No specific details were disclosed.

Dubai Tourism also said it has provided its partners and stakeholders with a clarification document for aspects relating to health and safety, essential camp provisions, updated insurance requirements, and basic amenities and services.

Khalid Bin Touq, executive director of Tourism Activities and Classification Sector at Dubai Tourism, said: “In order to further improve standards across the many desert experiences and desert-based activities available in Dubai, all of which remain integral to our tourism agenda, we are committed to helping tour operators by providing an easier and more transparent list of regulations.”

The new regulations are a result of collaboration between Dubai Tourism and key government departments including Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality, and the Directorate of Civil Defence, the statement said.

Under the regulations introduced in May, Dubai Tourism established quality benchmarks for all desert tour operators, evaluating them on categories such as visitor experience, health and safety, insurance coverage, marketing and advertising, and transport and logistics.

The rules called for operators to follow mandatory child car seat regulations and vehicle inspection criteria and ensure that all car safety equipment is installed by approved vendors.

All drivers are also required to have completed their tour guide certification from Dubai Tourism and have the right RTA licences.

The new rules also focussed on the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices.

Dubai Tourism said the revisions are part of the city’s objective to diversify and increase its desert attractions as part of efforts to achieve its Tourism Vision, which aims to attract 20 million visitors per year to the emirate by 2020.

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