TALLINN – In a meeting with his Emirati counterpart Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi in Dubai on Monday, Estonia's Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt said that the growing partnership between Estonia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reflected in the countries' plan to open a route for direct flights between Tallinn and the UAE and in their mutual interest in enterprise.
In the meeting with the UAE's minister of state for entrepreneurship and SMEs, Sutt noted that the interest of Estonian entrepreneurs and tourists in the Middle East is increasing, as can be seen in the increased volume of flights between the two countries.
"From the Estonian perspective, the UAE is an attractive place not just for holidays but also for doing business," the minister was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
"And here there's a high level of interest in Estonia's business environment and companies, and as a tourism destination with a unique value offer attached to it," he said.
Last autumn, the two ministers established a joint business council.
"That paved the way for stronger cooperation between companies in Estonia and the UAE," Sutt said. "Now we need to expand that into the tourism sector. One of the most obvious ways that will be expressed is in the launching of direct flights between our two countries."
Sutt is visiting Dubai with an Estonian business delegation and taking part in the "Travel and Connectivity" business forum. During his visit he will be meeting with executives of the UAE's airlines and the country's General Civil Aviation Authority to discuss establishing a direct route for flights between Tallinn and the UAE.
Dubai is currently hosting the delayed Expo 2020, which opened in October and runs through to the end of March. Over the last three months, the Estonian pavilion at the event has been visited by 164,000 people. A total of 42 Estonian companies and organizations are contributing to the pavilion in Dubai.