The Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, has been presented the rare honorary membership by the German Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (DRV) on the concluding day of its four-day annual convention.
This is the first time in the 55-year’s history of DRV that a non-member has been awarded honorary membership. DRV is the world’s third largest travel association with over 5,000 national and international members, including the biggest European tour operators, TUI, Thomas Cook and Rewe Touristik.
Dubai is the seventh venue outside the Europe in the DRV’s history where the annual convention took place.
In his acceptance speech at a gala dinner organized at the Madinat Jumeirah on Saturday, Mr. bin Sulayem said: “I feel both privileged and delighted to receive this membership on behalf of Dubai and the UAE. This is the first time ever that DRV has given membership of honour to a non-member.”
The ceremony was attended by the 1200 delegates in addition to German government officials, envoys and media representatives.
He said: “We sincerely appreciate the dedication of the German travel trade to Dubai and the crucial role that the travel agencies are playing in the success of Dubai. The DRV convention has been an outstanding success. The Dubai government will be working hard to support the German travel trade.”
Presenting the membership certificate to Mr. bin Sulayem, the DRV President, Mr. Klaus Laepple, said: “This is just a token of our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of Dubai and DTCM in the German market. This is another evidence of our special appreciation for Dubai, which we selected as the venue for DRV 2005 Convention. Dubai has taken the role of a pacemaker in the tourism industry.”
The DRV 2005 Convention is a milestone of the department’s hard work in Germany over the last 15 years.
For Dubai, Germany is the second largest source market in Europe and ranks number seventh worldwide.
Dubai hotel guests from Germany posted a 24 % growth in the first half of 2005 compared with the corresponding period last year, while the year 2004 witnessed 51 % growth with more than 236,000 Germans staying in Dubai hotels.