GIS - 26 November, 2015: The mission to the United Arab Emirates led by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, to promote Mauritius as a safe destination for investment and tourism, has yielded positive results, affirmed the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Showkutally Soodhun, at a joint press conference held yesterday in Ebène with the Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance, Institutional Reforms and Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Sudarshan Bhadain.
The Prime Minister led a delegation comprising, among others, Messrs Soodhun and Bhadain, to the United Arab Emirates, during the week-end of 21 to 22 November 2015, where he had discussions with, namely the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, Dr Anwar Mohammed Qarqash.
According to Mr Soodhun, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group has responded positively to the various proposals put forward by the Mauritian side. Thus, he stated, some 1,000 qualified unemployed Mauritians will be recruited by the Emirates Group in the fields of aviation, and Information Technology, adding that interested candidates can apply directly on the Group’s website. The Minister also announced special fares on Emirates flights for Mauritians going abroad to study, local small and medium entrepreneurs travelling to International Trade Fairs to market their products or/and services, as well as people seeking medical treatment abroad. Moreover, Mauritians going for the Umrah, a pilgrimage performed by Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that can be undertaken at any time of the year, will benefit from some Rs 10,000 discount on their airline tickets.
“Regarding technical assistance to Air Mauritius, Emirates Airline will be sending an expert to assist the local airliner in the elaboration of a strategic plan with a view to tapping into Africa’s potential,” stressed the Vice-Prime Minister. On the reinforcement of the code share of Air Mauritius, Mr Soodhun informed the press that Emirates Airline has agreed to increase the annual minimum guarantee from Euro 4.5 million to Euro 12 million. The Vice Prime Minister highlighted as well the request made by the Prime Minister to Sheik Al Maktoum to assist the country’s football team and contribute to the revival of the national football league, to which the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group has agreed.
Discussions between the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, and the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and for Federal National Council Affairs, Dr Anwar Mohammed Qarqash, focused on the issuance of visa for Mauritian nationals, and investment opportunities in the financial services, bunkering, smart cities, and real estate, among others. Mr Soodhun highlighted that Dr Qarqash will go to the United Arab Emirates’ Council to fast track the proposal for visa waiver for Mauritian Government officials.
For his part, the Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms and Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation stated that during the mission in Dubai, the expertise of the Emirati’s government was sought to devise the master plan and the design for the new administrative city, to be known as Heritage City, as part of the Highlands Project. Mauritius received a positive response. The Heritage City will be put up on a plot of land of an extent of 336 arpents situated on the left of Bagatelle Dam.
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