Ajman became the latest emirate in the UAE to slash tourism fees to encourage more visitors as the country seeks to diversify its economy and further strengthen the sector.
The northern emirate cut fees to 7 per cent from 10 per cent starting July 1 until the end of this year, according to a royal decree.
"Hotel facilities and tourism establishments should anticipate an increase in business given its more competitive pricing," said Abdulaziz Al Nuaimi, chairman of Ajman Tourism Development Department.
Ajman's decision follows a similar move by Abu Dhabi to reduce hospitality-related fees starting from July. This will include a cut to 3.5 per cent from 6 per cent for tourism fees, municipality fees to 2 per cent from 4 per cent and lowering the municipalality fee for each hotel room to Dh10 from Dh15. The UAE is focused on boosting its tourism industry to help accelerate growth of its non-oil economy.
The emirate has a target of attracting 700,000 hotel and hotel apartment guests in the next three years as part of its Ajman Vision 2021.
In the first quarter of this year, the emirate recorded a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent in the number of hotel guests , according to the data posted on the emirate's tourism department's website.
"Ajman's tourism sector is a key component to our overall economic diversification plans," said Saleh Al Geziry, director general of ADDT.
In 2017, the emirate earned Dh458 million in tourism revenues, a 12 per cent increase from a year-earlier.
In 2017, Ajman hosted 544,447 tourists, UAE news agency Wam said, without citing the previous year's figures. The number of room nights reached 872,434, compared to 835,331 in 2016, an increase of 4 per cent.
Ajman’s resorts saw an increase in occupancy rates to 82 per cent in 2017, while the number of visitors to Ajman’s museums rose by 19 per cent during the same period.