The Expo 2020 Dubai is presenting Kenya with an opportunity to pitch its investment opportunities to potential investors from the United Arab Emirates and the world at large.
Kenya has so far recorded over 200,000 people visiting its pavilion, giving Kenya an opportunity to re-establish its presence in the UAE and wider region as a prime destination for both trade and tourism.
Last week’s Kenya National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai was part of a broader Kenya Week which saw President Uhuru Kenyatta attend the celebrations at Expo, where he invited Gulf investors to set up shop in Kenya, saying that the country was committed to aligning with the needs of investors and removing the bureaucratic red tape that undermined trade. The President also asked Kenyan government officials to be at the forefront in facilitating trade with the UAE to in order to further enhance the country’s appeal as a an investment destination of choice.
At the same time, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife enhanced the marketing of Kenya as a prime tourist destination in the UAE market. Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife CS Balala, who was leading the Ministry delegation, said that Expo 2020 Dubai had offered Kenya a chance to showcase its tourism and investment opportunities through a series of high levels meetings and events that had attracted investors, tourism experts, travel trade and opinion leaders from different countries.
“We want to see more investors come to Kenya and work together with the government to develop the tourism industry and have had many important discussions with important stakeholders to this end. For instance, we know that we still need further investment in infrastructure, especially in the hotel sector and in conservation, which is critical for the tourism in Kenya to thrive,”said CS Balala.
During Kenya Week, the Ministry of Tourism through the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) signed an MoU with Mastercard, forming a strategic partnership that will enable millions of Mastercard users to have visibility of Kenya’s tourism products and experiences.
KTB CEO Dr Betty Radier says “Mastercard is currently present in 210 countries and territories around the world, this means that people from across these nations will have access to information that showcases our tourism offerings and selling propositions. We want to ensure that we use all the avenues possible to gain entry into all markets and this partnership takes us in the right direction.”.
As a follow up to the President’s announcement to encourage more trade with the UAE, KTB hosted travel trade from 45 companies who met with the 15 Kenya companies that travelled for the B-to-B sessions. KTB also worked to identified key partners, leveraged on key media outlets to enhance the destinations brand visibility, and deployed integrative communication and promotional tactics to aid in repositioning the destination’s brand for its diverse tourism experiences.
In 2021, Kenya recorded close to 11,000 tourists from the Middle East, thanks to the ease of access through Kenya Airways direct flights and other frequent flights into the UAE market, the expatriate community in UAE is a pulling factor for Kenya’s entry into this market.