Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala tourism department in association with global retailer Lulu group will be organizing a four-day-long travel and tourism event in Abu Dhabi from February 22, to promote the 'God's Own Country' in the Middle East tourism market.
India Tourism Dubai office, Tourism India and Brand Kerala Magazines are also part of the event, titled as 'Explore Kerala @ Abu Dhabi." Official logo of 'Explore Kerala' was unveiled by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence Ashraf Ali MA, Lulu Group Executive Director, Nandakumar, Chief Communication Officer, Biju Kottarathil, Media Secretary and other officials recently, a release said.
The event will be held from February 22 to 25 at Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi. Several leading Hotels & Resorts including The Raviz Hotels & Resorts, Uday Samudra Kovalam, Vythiri Village Wayanad, Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort and two leading tour operators, Gateway Malabar Holidays and The Blue Yonder from the state will showcase their products along with Kerala destination presentation, it said.
A colorful cultural performance showcasing the state's art forms including Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Theyyam and Thayambaka will also be the part of the four-day event, it said. "Keralites have always considered UAE as their second home and Kerala tourism identified the potential of the ever growing UAE tourism market. Considering tourist arrivals to Kerala from the Middle East, UAE is the second biggest market after Saudi Arabia and followed by the Oman and Kuwait," state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
"In 2015, there were 71,500 tourists from Saudi Arabia (65048 in 2014 and48,346 in 2013), 20,000 plus ( 18,264 in 2014 and17,475 in 2013) from the UAE and 17,924 from Oman, who visited the state. From the Middle East alone, we have more than one lakh visitors," he added. The event would be officially inaugurated by Sultan Hamad Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Tourism. Indian Ambassador to UAE, Navdeep Suri, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President, Harib Al Muhairi, India Tourism Director IRV Rao and many dignitaries would also be present during the function, the release added.