Yan Sashuang, Deputy Director General of Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism Image Credit: Supplied

Service Trade Expo opened at the Dubai World Trade Center. Concurrently, the “Nihao! China – Sichuan, More Than Pandas” Sichuan Culture and Tourism Promotion Conference, co-hosted by the Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and Sichuan Airlines, and supported by the China Cultural Center in UAE and the Middle East International Exhibition Group.

Liu Yang, Director of the China Cultural Center in UAE, stated that the diverse yet complementary tourism resources between China and the Arab states offer enormous potential for mutual cooperation. Over the years, Sichuan has been an active participant in international festivals celebrating both culture and tourism with countries including the UAE. By working together, both sides can tap into the immense potential for tourism cooperation, promote mutually beneficial collaboration in the tourism industry, and contribute to the development of the strategic partnership between China and the Arab world, further enriching the shared journey of the Belt and Road initiative.

Image Credit: Supplied

Yan Sashuang, Deputy Director General of Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, addressed the audience, showcasing Sichuan’s five natural and cultural heritage sites, including the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries and the Jiuzhaigou Valley. She further introduced cultural and tourism highlights such as the Sanxingdui site and the renowned Sichuan cuisine, alongside Sichuan’s distinguished hospitality services, featuring unique offerings and top-tier hotel brands. “The direct flights between Dubai and Sichuan makes travel between the two regions a breeze. UAE tourists can benefit from visa-free policies when visiting Sichuan. We cordially invite UAE tourists to immerse yourselves in the vibrant cultural tapestry and unique tourism charms that Sichuan has to offer.”

Wang Hailin, President and Founder of the Middle East International Exhibition Group, mentioned in his speech that both Sichuan and Dubai boast dynamic cultural and tourism industries which not only drive economic growth but also serve as vital bridges for communication.

Dr. Tarig Ahmed Nizami, Founder & CEO of the CEO Clubs Network Worldwide said, “Sichuan, celebrated for its hotpot and pandas, stands out as one of China’s most renowned tourist destinations, boasting a wealth of attractions. The unique beauty of Sichuan is captivating, where majestic snow-capped peaks meld with lush forests, and the serene co-existence of hot springs with glaciers is truly awe-inspiring.” Nizami underscored that this promotion conference acts as a pivotal link and a bridge, fostering greater synergy between the tourism sectors of China and the UAE.

At the promotional conference, the Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism showcasedphoto exhibitions, presentations on product resources, introductions to cultural and tourism agencies, interactive lucky draws, Sichuan Opera performances, and the launch of curated tourist routes. Ten Sichuan-based cultural and tourism institutions presented their latest tourism information and offerings, unveiling themed travel routes centered on attractions such as the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, Daocheng Aden, Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong Scenic Area, Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha, and the ancient Shu civilization. The representative from Sichuan Airlines Dubai Office elaborated on the company’s branding and the flight route from Dubai to Chengdu.

Following the promotion conference, representatives from the cultural and tourism industries of both sides engaged in discussions, exchanging ideas for cooperation and development. This event marked the first time that the Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism organized a delegation to visit the UAE for cultural and tourism marketing after Covid-19.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road initiative and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the UAE, Sichuan’s cultural and tourism resources showcased at the 2023 Middle East (Dubai) Service Trade Expo will further enhance cultural and tourism exchanges.

Over a hundred guests attended the event, including Consul for Culture and Education Affairs at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, representatives from UAE cultural and tourism institutions, local mainstream media outlets, and heads of major Chinese chambers of commerce in the UAE.