Dr Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi with Charitha Yattogoda and other officials at the event in Dubai.
Sri Lanka has been enjoying friendly relations with the UAE in all spheres including trade, investment, tourism and economic cooperation and that the total turnover in bilateral trade between the countries has now crossed $2 billion.
This was stated by Charitha Yattogoda, Sri Lanka’s Consul General to Dubai, during an exclusive interview with Gulf Today on the sidelines of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Evening and Cultural Night” recently held in Dubai.
“The cordial relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE are based on trust, mutual understanding and friendship. The UAE is the largest export market for the Sri Lankan products and the largest source of imports to Sri Lanka in the GCC Region.”
“The expanding mandate of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai is focused on continuing to promote Sri Lanka’s trade, investment, tourism and employment interests in the UAE while catering to the needs of Sri Lankans living and working in the UAE in every possible way,” he added.
Yattogoda mentioned that the dynamism displayed by the entrepreneurs of both nations was a distinct feature in the enhancement of commercial relations between the two countries during the recent past. A number of Sri Lankan companies have been participating in the Gulf Food exhibition, Arab Health, Arabian Travel Market and other major trade events on a regular basis with a view to furthering business links.
“Moreover, the outbound tourism from UAE to Sri Lanka has also seen a remarkable growth in the last few years, as Sri Lanka has become a very attractive destination for holiday makers and leisure seekers.”
“100,000 people from different nationalities from the UAE visit Sri Lanka every year, of which around 10,000 visitors were Emiratis. He emphasised that months after the Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka, peace has been fully restored and the situation has returned to normalcy in the island nation, leading to a rapid revival of the tourism industry.”
Referring to several mega projects that are underway in Sri Lanka such as the Colombo Port City, he said that just as the UAE was the trade and tourism hub in the GCC region, Sri Lanka aimed to become a similar hub in the South Asian region.
The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and Northern Emirates hosted a ‘Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Evening and Cultural Night” recently at the Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as part of celebrations surrounding the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE. The event was organised in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Cabinet Minister of Infrastructure Development of UAE graced the event as Chief Guest while Majintha Jayesinghe, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to UAE also attended the event, along with over 350 guests including other UAE government officials, diplomats representing over 35 countries consisting of more than 30 Consuls General of the Consulates General based in Dubai, representatives of leading travel and tour operating companies, Emirati dignitaries, leading businessmen and media personnel.
Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif AlNuaimi, Cabinet Minister of Infrastructure Development of UAE graced the event as Chief Guest while Majintha Jayesinghe, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to UAE also attended the event, along with over 350 guests including other UAE government officials, diplomats representing over 35 countries consisting of more than 30 Consuls General of the Consulates General based in Dubai, representatives of leading travel and tour operating companies, Emirati dignitaries, leading businessmen and media personnel.
Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE were established in July, 1979, with the opening of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.
Subsequently, Sri Lanka’s Consulate Office in Dubai was established on 1st August 1993 and upgraded to the level of Consulate General in 1999. Thereafter, as a fully-fledged Consulate General, it continued to provide the services related to consular, labour, employment promotion in addition to promoting trade investment and tourism in Dubai and the Northern Emirates over the years. The tea promotion unit of the Sri Lanka Tea Board was also stationed under the Consulate General of Sri Lanka with the main objective of promoting Ceylon Tea in the UAE market as well as in the markets of the Middle East and Northern African region.
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