Japan National Tourism Organization opens first Middle East office in Dubai
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Japan National Tourism Organization opens first Middle East office in Dubai

Japan National Tourism Organization opens first Middle East office in Dubai

By 2030, Japan aims to attract 60 million visitors with a JPY 15 trillion consumption annually

Tokyo

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has opened its office in Dubai, its first overseas presence in the Middle East.

By 2030, Japan aims to attract 60 million visitors with a JPY 15 trillion consumption annually.

In 2019, Japan saw a record high number of visitors from the GCC countries with 28,222 visitors travelling to the Asian country, a 28.4 per cent increase on the previous year, and double that of the past five years.

According to a survey conducted by the JNTO in six GCC countries from May to June 2021, approximately 30 per cent of respondents answered that they would like to go to Japan in the future. Shopping, staying at resorts and hotels, and appreciating the abundant nature were ranked among the most popular reasons as to why they wanted to travel to Japan.

Almost 40 per cent of the respondents answered that “I don’t know much about Japan”.

The JNTO office in Dubai has been set up to grow demand and awareness of Japan as a key tourism destination.

“2022 is an important year for us, being the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. By opening the JNTO Dubai office now, we aim to contribute to the further development of tourism exchange between Japan, the UAE, and the wider GCC,” said Tomoko Kikuchi, executive director of the JNTO Dubai Office.

“At the Arabian Travel Market Hybrid event that was held in May this year I was happy to hear from many travel agencies that they are eager to resume their trips to Japan.”

The Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has attracted several visitors and often long queues of people waiting to enter the pavilion. The pavilion’s architecture is a three-dimensional expression of Japanese origami combining traditional Arabesque and Japanese asanohamotifs, as well as a natural cooling system incorporating Arabic and Japanese techniques.

The next edition of the Expo will be held in Osaka, Kansai, Japan. “JNTO will be holding an event at the Expo to promote tourism to the country in collaboration with the Japan Pavilion as well as the authorities of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City,” added Kikuchi.

The value of Japanese direct investments in the UAE since the start of 2020 has totaled $4.01bn, a growth of 22.6 per cent from 2015 until 2020. Japan is ranked tenth globally among the list of countries investing in the UAE, and eighth globally in terms of non-oil trade, which reached $8.95bn in the first ten months of 2020.

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