Eco Tourism

UAE launches new project to promote ecotourism

The UAE has launched National Ecotourism Project, with an aim to position the country as a leading green holiday destination. The project launched by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), is aimed at promoting the country’s eco-tourism attractions in three phases that focus on environmental, economic and social factors.

“Over the past few years, the pioneering vision and directives of the UAE leadership have enabled the country to consolidate its leading global status across diverse sectors, with travel and tourism at the forefront,” said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Last year, the UAE recorded nearly 15.87 million tourists, registering a 6.5 per cent increase over 2016, with revenues amounting to AED118.8 billion. The reports project tourist traffic to continue growing in the coming years to a record-breaking 25 million between 2020 and 2021, coinciding with Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The national ecotourism project is a result of the country’s commitment to preserving the environment, a commitment instilled in its people by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” he said.

MoCCAE said it is currently working on the pilot phase that includes making ample information and promotional footage available under the theme ‘The UAE’s Natural Wonders’, to showcase the rich biodiversity across the country’s 43 protected areas.

The ministry is about to launch a dedicated website and app for tablets and smartphones to raise awareness of the protected areas among residents and visitors and encourage travel agencies to include these sites in their promotional packages for the UAE. The portal and app will serve as an information and visual resource that UAE embassies across the globe and national airlines can use to introduce these attractions to the world. In the next phase, the ministry plans to update the website and app with geographic locations and detailed information on eco-friendly flights, hotels, beaches and campsites.