JNTO to attract tourists from GCC region with new Dubai office

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has opened a new office in Dubai, its first overseas office in the Middle East (ME), ahead of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

The country hopes to attract 60 million visitors by 2030, generating $131 billion in yearly revenue. Middle East is a priority market for the organization and a key focus in achieving this goal, with the launch of the JNTO Dubai office playing a major part in the efforts to attract more visitors from the region.

Japan eyes to build a strong relation with UAE, adding to which is two Emirati athletes bringing home three medals from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. New Japanese restaurants continue to open across the city, and Japanese traditional culture is attracting more attention, with the first Emirati ikebana teacher receiving certification.

In 2019, Japan saw a record high number of visitors from the GCC countries with 28,222 visitors making the journey, a 28.4 percent increase on the previous year and the figure doubling in the past five years. 

According to a JNTO survey in six GCC countries from May to June 2021, approximately 30 percent of respondents answered that they would like to go to Japan in the future to experience its shopping, relaxing resorts and hotels.

Tomoko Kikuchi
Tomoko Kikuchi
Executive Director
JNTO Dubai Office

“2022 is an important year for us, being the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UAE. By opening the JNTO Dubai office now, we aim to contribute to the further development of tourism exchange between Japan, the UAE, and the wider GCC. At the Arabian Travel Market Hybrid event that was held in May this year I was happy to hear from many travel agencies that they are eager to resume their trips to Japan.”

The JNTO Dubai office is raising awareness of the destination’s many sites to attract tourists from the GCC region in the future.

The Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has been a key highlight of the event, with its architecture being a three-dimensional manifestation of Japanese origami combining traditional Arabesque and Japanese asanoha motifs, as well as a natural cooling system blending Arabic and Japanese techniques.

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