Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde’s mission to the United Arab Emirates has boosted bilateral relations between the regions.

Following Minister Winde’s visit to the UAE, plans have been put in place to strengthen partnerships in Project Khulisa’s areas of strategic focus, including increasing exports of Western Cape products and boosting tourism for our region.

Minister Winde said several steps have been tabled to increase the trade of horses between the two regions, taking into account the barriers linked to African Horse Sickness.

"We are investigating the establishment of a lock-down zone in the province, possibly at the Kenilworth Race Course. This facility would serve as a quarantine, transit and export station, which will allow the Western Cape to export directly to the world. Currently, our horses are exported via Mauritius where they are quarantined, adding red tape and financial costs to the process. During my meetings, we also discussed setting up a task team to investigate growing the size of the province’s most prestigious horse racing events. There is a demand for our horses which are known to be excellent performers in competitions. The horse export industry is worth over R200 million and there is potential to grow to R1 billion if we put the right measures in place," said Minister Winde.

Later this month, a high level delegation from the UAE will visit the Western Cape to discuss a set of agreeable protocols with the province’s vets. 2

"These discussions are likely to include the building of an appropriate quarantine station. Dubai is already set to build a quarantine station at the Al Maktoum airport, which would be able to receive our horses."

In the tourism sector, Minister Winde also met with several key players in order to better understand this market with a view to growing it. This included with the CEO of the Dubai tourism authority, Kerzner International and leading outbound operators promoting our region. Key opportunities include highlighting the strength of our destination for family and adventure tourism. There are also strong cultural similarities between our destinations, which allow us to cater for tourists who are Muslim.

The Western Cape also offers an ideal cooler climate for travellers from the UAE during that country’s summer months.

"The Dubai Aviation City Corporation is building a new airport, which aims to process 200 million passengers per year. This new airport city positions Dubai as a gateway for trade and tourism to and from the Western Cape. Following the trip, Wesgro will be attending the Arabian Travel Market and negotiating a joint marketing agreement with key players servicing our region," said Minister Winde.


Press Release issued by:

Bronwynne Jooste

Spokesperson: Ministry of Economic Opportunities

Western Cape Government

Tel: 021 483 3550

Cell: 060 970 4301

Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za | www.elsenburg.com

Twitter: bronwynnejooste