Dubai Tourism to return $68m in bank guarantees to local firms

Bank guarantees will be returned to tourism companies in Dubai as the emirate seeks to attract 25 million visitors by 2025



Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has announced it will release Dhs250m ($68m) of bank guarantees, allowing local tourism players to reinvest in their business.

Better known as Dubai Tourism, the organisation currently requires tourism companies to provide bank guarantees between Dhs100,000 – Dhs600,000 ($27,230 – $163,345) in order to obtain a trade licence to operate. But as part of the government’s economic stimulus programme, these guarantees will be waived and the money returned to more than 2,000 travel and tourism companies.

In a statement, director general of Dubai Tourism, Helel Saeed Almarri, said: “As we head into 2019 with a commitment to significantly boost tourism arrivals in line with our 2022-2025 tourism strategy and vision to make Dubai the world’s most visited destination, relaxing regulations in support of the business community – especially supporting start-ups and SMEs – is fundamental for sustained sector growth.

“Tourism is a strong contributor to Dubai’s GDP and we intend to ensure that we sustainably enhance our economic value and aid the diversification agenda for the wider UAE.”

He added that the deregulatory measure “complements many of our other initiatives to provide much-needed impetus to the industry”, and that release the bank guarantees “generates an immediate cash injection of nearly a quarter billion dirhams for travel and tourism-related service providers to invest back into their businesses and truly drive future growth”.

Dubai Tourism’s previous visitor number target of 20 million per year by 2020 was revised in October as part of its Vision 2022-2025. Now, the organisation will seek to attract 25 million annual overnight visitors by 2025.