Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: – The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the specialized agency of the United Nations for tourism development, and the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), an esteemed investment platform in the Middle East, have strengthened their cooperation around common interests in tourism-related investments. The two parties will work together to harness the power of tourism to drive global development and to accelerate the implementation of the agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), particularly now that economies are now starting to recover from the pandemic.

UNWTO and AIM, through this new Memorandum of Understanding, have formally committed to jointly support the following goals: the effective implementation of the agenda 2030 and the 17 SDGs through tourism investments, and the promotion of innovation and technology. UNWTO and AIM’s collaborative works related to investment facilitation and promotion will see them share and disseminate knowledge regarding investment policies among their stakeholders and networks and maximize foreign direct investments’ positive economic impact on the sector.

UNWTO is the leading international organization in the field of tourism. It promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development, environmental sustainability and aims to drive the digitalization of tourism and to create an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The Organization offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

AIM provides an invaluable and unparalleled opportunity for public and private entities to come together to achieve their shared vision of growth and sustainability. Anchored around the theme of “The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities To Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity and Prosperity,” this year’s AIM edition will focus on 10 key sectors that include Tourism & Hospitality, among others.

In line with the two organizations’ commitment to cooperate in the implementation of projects as stipulated in the MoU, UNWTO will spearhead the “Tourism Investment Forum” to be held on the framework of the upcoming AIM Global 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on May 8-10, 2023.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commented: “UNWTO has recognized investments as our key priorities for tourism right now and into the future. Investments are essential for the tourism sector to grow. And in turn, a thriving tourism sector can also attract investors. UNWTO is proud to collaborate with AIM around our shared goal of boosting investments into tourism and into the projects that will deliver greater sustainability and resilience for the sector.”

AIM President Dawood Al Shezawi said: “It has been AIM’s mission to provide an interactive platform where investment opportunities can be formed, thereby not only strengthening economic relations among nations but also addressing issues that have profound effects on a global scale.”

He added, “AIM takes pride in its belief that keeping abreast of the latest changes and issues while at the same time making available the best venue where the brightest minds, from all sectors, can converge to find solutions and scale up development ideas is of utmost importance. We welcome this great chance to cooperate with the UNWTO and we are certain that this collaboration will be fruitful.”

AIM Global 2023 has engaged in several technologically driven initiatives as part of its commitment to build the global economy roadmap and bolster the five key pillars, which include Foreign Direct Investment, Small and Medium Enterprises, Future Cities, Startups, and Foreign Portfolio Investments. Besides Tourism & Hospitality, the other key focus sectors are Agriculture, Energy, Technology, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, Finance, Healthcare, and Education.