Seychelles President James Michel has opened the doors to increased tourism cooperation and investment from the Middle East, with his symbolic unveiling of the plaque of the new Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, on Thursday.
The President, in his capacity as Minister for Tourism, also inaugurated the Seychelles Tourism Office, which is based in the embassy.
“This day heralds a new era of cooperation between the Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates. We have already made great strides in the development of our friendship and bilateral relations. Now our embassy and the tourism office will open a world opportunities for increasing the number of visitors from the Gulf and Middle East, as well as becoming a center for investment promotion and conception of new ideas for partnership,” said President Michel following the opening.
The event was attended by the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam; the UAE Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Khaled Ghanem Al Ghaith; Seychelles Ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Dick Esparon; the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mr. Alain St.Ange; and members of the resident diplomatic corps; members of the Seychellois community in the UAE; representatives from travel operators and tourism trade establishments and airlines.
The President and the guests toured the new embassy and tourism office, and also enjoyed the songs of the legendary Seychellois singers Patrick Victor, Jean-Marc Volcy, and Emmanuel Marie, who performed during the opening, evoking traditional Creole ballads, moutia, and sega beats as well as “romances.”
“The tourism office will be an important component of the Seychelles marketing strategy for the Gulf and Middle East, as this market has vast growth potential and is part of our diversification policy, as markets in Europe are faced with economic crisis. Seychelles will benefit from the strong spending power of visitors from the Gulf, and this will further strengthen our tourism industry, ensuring the stability of our economy,” said President Michel.
During the opening ceremony, guests were addressed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam; the Seychelles Ambassador to the UAE, Dick Esparon; as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange.