Turkey seeks UAE, Gulf Investment to help Expand Tourism Infrastructure

Travel News Asia 6 June 2005

UAE investors have been urged to support and capitalise on the expansion of Turkeys tourism infrastructure as the country moves to keep pace with soaring tourist arrivals from overseas regions, including the Gulf.

Tuncer Kayalar, Turkeys under secretariat of foreign trade, said plans to develop major new tourist hotels and resorts on his countrys Black Sea and Mediterranean coastlines will open up lucrative joint venture opportunities for investors.

Turkey received between 17 and 18 million tourists last year and that figure will rise to 20 million in the very near future, Kayalar said during a visit to Made in Turkey, the countrys first official trade fair in the Emirates, which entered its second day at the Dubai World Trade Centre Sunday.

Turkeys hotel bed capacity has to be increased substantially in order to keep pace with the increased influx of tourists from abroad, and there will be excellent opportunities for investors from the Gulf countries in the form of joint ventures in tourism development.

Kayalar added, The number of tourists we receive from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries is increasing year by year, and this year we are also expecting a big boom in tourism from Syria.

Currently in the process of finalising a free trade agreement with the UAE and looking to do the same in other Gulf countries, Turkey has already made a significant move to attract Gulf investors by recently introducing new legislation to ease foreign investment in the country. 

Building on Turkeys already established liberal foreign investment law, the new legislation brings protection of consumer, industrial and intellectual property rights and competition rules and subsidies. 

Just as Turkeys tourism links with the UAE and other Gulf countries grows, Turkish exports are also on the rise, with expectations of an increase from $1.1 billion (dhs4 billion) in 2004 to $1.5 billion (dhs5.4 billion) this year. 

As Turkeys first official trade exhibition in the UAE, Made in Turkey is seen as a significant step in the Turkish governments objective to increase trade volumes with the Gulf region to equal 30% of its total foreign trade.

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