Gamini Lakshman Peiris, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, said that Expo 2020 Dubai is a great opportunity and a world-class platform to promote his country as a major tourist attraction.

During Sri Lanka’s National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai, Peiris noted that the warm hospitality shown to tourists by the Sri Lankan people is one of the main pillars that boost his country's tourist appeal.

"In my opinion, Expo 2020 Dubai is an ideal opportunity for a country like Sri Lanka to showcase its various capabilities," he added, highlighting his country's position as a world-leading producers of spices, as it accounts for nearly 85 percent of the total global cinnamon production, he noted.

The presence of nearly 300,000 Sri Lankan citizens in the UAE is another aspect that helps enhance the bilateral ties between the two countries, he further added.

"Sri Lankans who reside in the UAE view it as their second home, and contribute to boosting the UAE’s economy," Peiris affirmed.

Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism statistics show that over 104,000 people visited the country between January and February 2021, with Indian tourists accounting for 32.1 percent, while 8.5 percent came from the United Kingdom, 8 percent from Russia and 6 percent from Germany.

Sri Lanka celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of Peiris, who inaugurated several cultural events, showcasing the country's heritage and history, on the sidelines of the celebration.

© WAM (Emirates News Agency) 2022