His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday opened the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition 2012 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Sheikh Mohammed cut the traditional ribbon where he was greeted warmly by the exhibitors, guests and folklore troupes.
Also present were Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group.
After the offcial opening, Sheikh Mohammed toured the exhibition and stopped at various stalls, which represented the major players in the travel industry.
He was welcomed at the wings hosted by the Dubai Tourism and Commercial Marketing Department, Meydan, Emirates airline, Qatar Airways, Salalah Tourism Authority of Oman, Kuwait tourism and flydubai.
He also visited stalls of tourism and travel organisations from Tailand, India, Indonesia and Argentina. Over 250 companies from 90 countries around the world are participating in the event.
At the end of his tour Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE will remain an open window for the West to look towards the East and see its vibrant cultures, civilizations as well as its products and investments in the commercial, industrial, educational and technical areas.
Mohammed views new statistics on hotel industry's performance in 2011
Sheikh Mohammed viewed new statistics on the UAE's hotels industry in 2011, on the sidelines of the current Arabian Travel Marketing (ATM) week in Dubai.
The figures which were released by the National Council for Tourism and Archaeology show that hotel occupancy stood at over 14 million guests and that guestnights rose by 15% over the past few years to 40 million.
The occupancy rate went up to 70 per cent taking revenues to Dh22 billion.
European guests topped the list of hotel guests followed by Asians, citizens of the GCC member countries while North Americans came in the fourth place.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed the achievement made by the governmental and private establishments who seek to promote tourism and attract more foreign investments and tourists.
He expressed confidence in the national material and human resources and underscored diversification of the sources of national income through a modern and diversified tourism industry.
The UAE, he noted, is now a favorite destination for foreign investors and tourists.
Mohammed receives Massoud Al Barazani
Sheikh Mohammed received President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Al Barazani and his accompanying ministerial delegation on Monday at Zabeel Palace in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed his guest and discussed with him the bolstering bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in particular, especially in trade, cultural and investment relations.
Sheikh Mohammed stressed on UAE's keenness to safeguard stability of Iraq and boost peaceful coexistence and tolerance between the different sects of Iraqi society.
Al Barazani briefed Sheikh Mohammed on the political and security advancements and efforts to maintain and sustain security and unity of Iraq.
The meeting was attended by Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Director of Dubai Ruler's Court Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shebani, Major General Mohammed Dhaen Al Qamzi, Emaar Chairman Mohammed Ali Al Abbar, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office Ahmed Abdullah Al Shaikh, Dubai Director of Protocol and Hospitality Khalifa Saeed Suleiman and UAE Ambassador to Iraq Abdullah Ibrahim Al Shehhi.
Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Manuscripts to be established
Sheikh Mohammed has issued directives to establish the "Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Manuscripts" at the headquarters of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) in Al Mamzar area.
Sheikh Mohammed has also donated a large collection of his personal belongings to the centre including rare manuscripts and copies of the holy Quran.
The announcement was made during a press conference by Sheikh Mohammed's Advisor for Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the DIHQA Ibrahim Mohammed Bumelha in the presence of prominent Emirati writer Abdul Ghaffar Husain.
Bumelha thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his keenness to preserve priceless items of cultural heritage and continuous support to the activities of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award. Bumelha added that contributions for hosting manuscripts at the centre are also welcome.
For his part, Abdul Ghaffar Husain expressed gratitude for Sheikh Mohammed’s kind gesture and announced the donation of his personal collection of manuscripts to the centre.
Bumelha also announced that plans are underway to establish the centre with the help of Dubai Police, which will oversee the complete installation of all security and safety-related matters.