The hugely-inspiring commitment and visionary leadership of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), in developing Dubai into a most-dynamic and sophisticated tourism destination has been acknowledged by the German tourism industry through the BTW Innovation Award 2005.
The coveted award of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) is given for outstanding innovative achievements in the tourism industry at a national and international level.
The award was presented at the BTW’s annual tourism summit held in Berlin on Monday (December 5th).
Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, DTCM Director General, received the award on behalf of HH General Sheikh Mohammed, from the German Minister for Economy & Technology, Mr. Michael Glos, at the gala ceremony.
In the acceptance speech, he said: “The most important thing about this award is the validation of Dubai’s international stature. It validates our hard work and struggle to develop a unique tourism product with commitment to quality and high standards. Dubai is making enormous investment to develop its tourism industry and several visionary projects are underway. German visitors have to play a significant role in ensuring that Dubai achieves its ambitious growth agenda.”
In deciding the award, the 12-member board of the BTW took into consideration the vision that developed Dubai on a fast-track basis with a unique blend of tradition and modernity, enormous investments in infrastructure projects, outstanding growth levels of tourism industry and economic vibrancy and dynamism.
BTW President, Mr. Klaus Laepple, said: “With the Innovation Award 2005, the BTW honours one of the worldwide largest investment programmes in the tourism sector. Burj Al Arab is an example of what Dubai can and wants to achieve. The emirate has successfully understood that mobility is a key success factor for economic growth and to create jobs. In doing so, Dubai is setting an example (to other destinations).”
He added: “By virtue of focused investments in the hotel and aviation business, Dubai has developed into one of the most dynamic destinations worldwide. The emirate is now among the destinations with the highest growth rates in the German market. This is the result of determined investments, targeted marketing, and close cooperation with the German tourism industry.”
The BTW Tourism Summit brought together the heads of the German tourism industry and politics. More than 600 decision-makers of the tourism industry, media, government officials, and members of the diplomatic corps attended the award ceremony.
The DTCM delegation included Director Operations and Marketing, Mr. Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb, Director of Dubai Convention Bureau, Mr. Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, and Manager Media Relations, Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman.
Mr. Mohammed Yousef Mohammed, Minister Plenipotentiary at the UAE Embassy in Berlin, also graced the ceremony.
The previous winners of the BTW Innovation Award include Dr. Michael Frenzel, Chairman of TUI – Europe’s leading travel organization – Mr. Paul M. McManus, President and CEO of Leading Hotels of the World, Airbus Industries, Deutsche Bahn AG, and Europa Park Freizeit- und Familienpark Mack KG.
Dubai has been recording consistent double-digit growth in the number of German visitors to the emirate. For Dubai, Germany is the second largest source market in Europe. In the first half of 2005, there was a 24 % increase in the German guests in Dubai hotels, while a 55 % increase was recorded in the number of tour operators promoting Dubai in Germany.
Mr. bin Sulayem, said: “The government and people of Dubai acknowledge the unfaltering interest of Germans in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular. The BTW honour is symbolic of the high credibility and love that Dubai and its people enjoy among the Germans. The historic bilateral relations have been gaining further strength due to keenness on both sides. The fast-expanding, mutually beneficial relations are not confined a few select domains but encompasses almost all the economic sectors. As far as we could see, the future looks bright and promising."