Professional licenses for federal tour guides introduced by UAE


The first federal license for practising the profession of a guide in various tourist and archaeological sites across the UAE has been introduced, a UAE minister has announced.

Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium Enterprises told the Federal National Council (FNC) that the federal license is intended for national cadres wishing to work as professional tourist guides in the tourism sector.

“Recently, we have noticed an increasing demand for Emirati tour guides from various tourists and visitors to tourist and archaeological sites in the country as they are interested and enjoy their rich information about the UAE culture and history, their experiences, and the way they explain and describe all archaeological sites,” said Al Falasi adding that this prompted the ministry to take the decision of introducing a federal license for tourist guides with the main aim of attracting a big number of Emiratis to work in this important profession.

A report from the FNC committee on Financial, Economic and Industrial Affairs which was presented to the FNC meeting cited a decline in Emiratisation rates in the private tourism sector in the UAE.

The report said the Emiratisation rate in the private tourism sector reached 0.07 per cent in 2020, which is very low compared to other sectors and does not meet the requirements of development projects and foreign investments in the country. In addition, there is absence of a unified database for the tourism sector statistics, said the report.

The report also cited a number of challenges facing the tourism sector in the country, including the absence of federal legislation and laws regulating the tourism sector, the need to create an appropriate investment environment to attract more foreign capital to the sector, and the heavy reliance of each emirate on its local legislations.

FNC member, Saeed Rashid Al Abedy and chairman of the FNC’s Financial, Economic and Industrial Affairs committee said the committee’s final report on the Ministry of Economy’s policy regarding supporting the tourism sector, included a number of observations, proposals and recommendations that would support this vital sector at the federal level.

He said the reported proposed the need to create a federal media strategy to promote tourism at the state level, and developing plans and work programs to localise work in the tourism sector.

“The report also suggested the need to make optimal use of the experiences gained from organising the Expo 2020 in Dubai, and to benefit from this global event to promote business tourism and a sustainable economy in the country,” said Al Abedy.

“It is also necessary to learn about the Ministry of Economy’s policy in supporting this important tourism sector, especially after the repercussions of Coronavirus in the world, which greatly affected this vital sector.”

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