Ras Al Khaimah, UAE; September 24, 2014: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, today inaugurated the 2014 Arab Aviation and Media Summit (AAMS), at the Hamra Convention Center in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The Arab world’s leading aviation and tourism event, which is being held this year in Ras Al Khaimah, is themed ‘Aviation and Tourism: Common Vision and Purpose.’
The event brings together international tourism and aviation experts with over 150 journalists and guests from across the world, who are specialised in the aviation and tourism business, to discuss the impact of the sector in the social and economic growth of the Arab world and to cement relationships further, thereby fostering a stronger understanding of the industry among the public.
Guest speakers at the event include high-ranking representatives of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Airbus Group, Airbus Prosky, RAK Tourism & Development Authority, Air Arabia, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Google, Waldorf Astoria and, among others.
This year’s edition of AAMS has also witnessed the launch of ‘The Little Engineer’ workshop – an edutainment organization dedicated to educating young minds through interactive programs. Supported by the UAE GCAA, Airbus and Air Arabia, ‘The Little Engineers’ workshop aims to instil a passion for science, technology and engineering among young nationals. The workshop, hosting 75 young nationals aims to introduce them to the world of robotics as a tool to the exciting world of science and technology. The launch of ‘The little Engineer Workshop’ is a reflection to the importance of investing in long-term human talent for the growing aviation sector in the Arab world.
Steven Rice, Chief Executive Officer of RAK Tourism & Development Authority said: “The fourth annual Arab Aviation and Media Summit is being hosted in Ras Al Khaimah at an exciting time for the aviation and tourism sectors in the emirate, with new world-class hotels and increased accessibility through Air Arabia’s network helping to attract visitors. The growth witnessed by RAK is testament to the transformative power of aviation and tourism. We are glad to share our experience with industry peers and showcase the future potential that RAK holds during this year edition of the AAMS.”
Gamal Sadek, Regional Director, Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism, GCC Representative Offices said: “Salalah hosted last year’s edition of the Arab Aviation & Media Summit and we are glad to be part of this year’s edition held in Ras Al Khaimah. The AAMS is a milestone in the aviation and tourism industry calendar of the region, as it promotes a stronger understanding of the sector’s contribution to social and economic growth by engaging the media effectively. We look forward to share the Sultanate of Oman experience in the development of Arab travel & tourism as well as shed light on the vast development currently taking place in Oman’s tourism sector”.
His Highness Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Ras Al Khaimah, delivered the opening remarks, followed by the keynote address by Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), who underlined the role of the Arab aviation industry in lifting the regional economy and its direct impact on tourism growth. Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, welcomed the delegates.
Several panel discussions and case studies were conducted as part of the Summit. Adel Ali, Fouad Attar, Managing Director, Airbus Middle East, and Steven Rice, CEO, RAK Tourism & Development Authority, presented a compelling case study on Ras Al Khaimah as an emerging tourist destination. They explained how the different facets of the Emirate can be leveraged to further boost inward tourism, which in turn will also benefit several core economic sectors including hospitality and retail.
Laila Al Muhari, Asisstant Director General – Strategy & International Affairs, UAE GCAA; Hussein Dabbas, Regional Vice President, IATA; and Paul-Franck Bijou, CEO of Airbus Prosky, presented the importance of public private partnerships and dialogue in shaping the future of Arab aviation at a panel discussion. Another panel discussion on MENA aviation and tourism – growth path versus global trends hosted Andre Herrenschmidt, General Manager Waldorf Astoria RAK; Salim Al Mamari, Director General, Oman Ministry of Tourism and Ivan Jakovljevic, Head of Travel, Google. Paul-Franck Bijou also presented a white paper on the findings of the MENA aviation sector including projections, challenges and opportunities.
The honour of hosting the AAMS is rotated each year, with the event previously being held in Sharjah, Salalah and Dubai. The RAK Summit concludes with a gala dinner hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.