Jamaica Plans to Introduce Direct Flights from Dubai

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says talks are ongoing with top representatives of Emirates Airlines to introduce a flight from Dubai to Jamaica early next year.

His remarks follow the wrap-up of marketing activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which included “a crucial meeting” with senior executives of Emirates Airlines at their Dubai headquarters.

Emirates is the largest airline in the UAE, and the Middle East overall, operating more than 3,600 flights per week.

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“The round of marketing activities my team and I had with the key tourism and logistics partners in the UAE were very fruitful. This will undoubtedly result in the process of securing new investments, markets and gateways from the Middle East, Asia/Asia Minor and Africa to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean,” the Minister said.

“We agreed to explore the feasibility of arranging this flight, details of which are to be worked out as soon as possible. There was also a productive discussion around tourism and airline recovery prospects and the positive V-shape pattern being experienced by Jamaica and Dubai.”

Bartlett said that “the significance of these discussions” should not be discounted, considering the prestige and size of Emirates Airlines and the potential to bring eager “middle easterners” to Jamaica in a seamless and hassle-free manner.

“That’s a huge untapped market that has been sitting there waiting to be had,” the Tourism Minister contended.

“We are committed to exploring these new markets in an effort to get our tourism sector back on track and in preparation for a post-COVID-19 era and when we know we will be back on top of the food chain, where our stakeholders can get some badly needed reprieve,” he added.

Bartlett also noted that a major element of the wide-ranging discussions in the United Arab Emirates is the possibility of introducing a special service between Dubai and Jamaica, in celebration of Jamaica Day at Expo 2020, Dubai, in February 2022.

He said he anticipates having further discussions in the context of multi-destination strategies being formulated in the northern Caribbean to enable a more fulsome engagement of the Emirates and other partners in the Middle East.

While in the UAE, Bartlett and his team also met with the country’s Tourism Authority to discuss collaboration on tourism investments from the region, Middle-East tourism initiative, and gateway access for North Africa and Asia and the facilitation of airlift.

There were also meetings with executives of EMAAR, said to be the largest and most prestigious hospitality and Real Estate/Community developer in the Middle East; DP World, one of the world’s largest port and marine logistics companies; DNATA, the single largest tour operator in the UAE and TRACT, a powerful tour operator in India.

From the UAE, Minister Bartlett will head to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will speak at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII). This year’s FII will include in-depth conversations about new global investment opportunities, analysis of industry trends, and unparalleled networking among CEOs, world leaders, and experts.

He will be joined by Senator Aubyn Hill in his capacity as Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for Water, Land and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), the Special Economic Zone Authority of Jamaica and special projects.

Minister Bartlett will return to the island on November 6.


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