In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has issued a decision to merge Dubai Economy and Dubai Tourism into one entity called Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism. His Highness also issued a decision appointing Helal Al Marri as Director General of the newly formed Department.

The move is part of a plan approved by His Highness that seeks to develop government work in Dubai and enhance its efficiency and resilience in order to keep pace with rapid changes, while ensuring the competitiveness of the business and tourism sectors in Dubai. His Highness said: “The newly formed Department seeks to support the economic and tourism transformations taking place in the emirate. It will adopt the same competitiveness and efficiency of the private sector and work together with it on various development projects.”

“Dubai’s economy has witnessed different phases of development throughout its history, which has helped shape the city’s current status as a model for economic development and a preferred destination for tourism. Today, our ambitions have grown bigger and our priorities have changed. Raising our global competitiveness requires new ways of thinking,” His Highness added.

The Department is tasked with meeting seven targets to further strengthen Dubai’s leading position in tourism and economy and make it the world’s best city to live in and work, His Highness said. These include increasing the added value of the industrial sector by 150 per cent in the next five years, expanding export markets for local products by 50 per cent and increasing the number of tourists coming to Dubai by 40 per cent to 25 million visitors by 2025.

The newly launched entity is also tasked with making Dubai one of the top five global cities in the main economic indicators, attracting 100,000 companies in three years as well as 400 global economic events annually by 2025. The new entity is also tasked with encouraging private and family-owned businesses to get listed on Dubai bourse.

“Our message to the Department’s team is that Dubai today is different than yesterday. The future of Dubai will depend on your performance, ideas and efforts,” His Highness concluded.

The Department of Economy and Tourism will also work to promote Dubai’s competitiveness in attracting foreign investments, increase exports, support SMEs, and develop new plans for Dubai’s new economic sectors.

The new structure will support decision makers in developing policies and assessing the strategic performance of the economic sector. The ultimate goal of the restructuring is to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to create a government model that is flexible, efficient and rapid in taking decisions. The new structure will also help facilitate and reduce procedures related to the issuance of trade and tourism licenses to further promote Dubai’s competitiveness, and achieve the optimum usage of the human and financial capital.