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26 November 2013 Manama as Asian Tourism City in 2014
Manama as Asian Tourism City in 2014

Manama has today been declared Capital of Asian Tourism for 2014. Thirty-three delegations taking part in the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) crowned the capital of Bahrain. A proposal submitted by Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa at the inaugural session of the 12th ACD ministerial meeting was endorsed unanimously. The 12th ACD Ministerial Meeting attracted delegates from 33 member countries and aimed to promote stronger partnerships among Asian nations.

The agenda focused on regional cooperation in areas including trans-national infrastructure, energy, bilateral regional and free trade agreements, investment and poverty reduction. Delegates also devoted time to discussing improvements in technological sharing, climate change adaptation, food security, counter-terrorism and maritime security. Addressing the event, Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa  emphasised the role of the ACD in promoting dialogue and cooperation and building mutual trust to overcome common development challenges.  The Asian honour acknowledges the centuries-old historical heritage of Manama, already consecrated as Capital of Arab Culture (2012) and Capital of Arab Tourism (2013). The minister hailed the Asian honour which recognizes Manama, as an iconic and cosmopolitan city and a long-standing crossroad for cultures and civilisations, lauding the atmosphere of peaceful co-existence and tolerance.


H.E Minister of Culture also outlined the string of remarkable achievements and investment projects which embellished Manama, Bahrain's largest city, over the past few years. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has also chosen Manama to host the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH). Bahrain, a founding country of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), has succeeded, over the past two year, in creating tangible momentum as Capital of Arab Culture (2012) and Capital of Arab Tourism (2013). H.E also highlighted  the ministry's adopted strategy to intensify cultural and tourism events and promote a sustainable momentum with the aim of attracting tourists. The minister announced that a copious programme would be concocted for December, ahead of the Manama Capital of Asian Tourism -2014.

Recognized as a country attracting a luxury tourism, Bahrain also has cultural sites. For the year 2012, 2013 Manama was designated as the capital of Arab culture by the Arab League and Arab Tourism Capital.  Moreover, a lot of sports activities can be practiced among all the other tourist’s attractions.

H.E Minister of Culture, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al- Khalifa, indicated in her opening remarks that the adoption of the Kingdom of Bahrain of the idea of launching (Asian Tourism City) among ACD member states came from its belief in the importance of activating the tourism sector as an important factor to the economies of countries as well to promoting cultural exchange .

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said that at the ACD was established to be an inclusive forum for all Asian countries, with the participation of thirty three countries, and the doors remain wide open to accommodate more members. He also noted that the development of the ACD as a real organization for strategic cooperation has been realized by the establishment of the Provisional Secretariat in Kuwait. The foreign minister clarified that addressing economic and social development issues in Asia, requires seeing issues from a comprehensive and holistic perspective, which entails reinvigorating and emulating Asian economic progress, and a comprehensive review of previous resolutions, initiatives, and action plans in order to lay the foundations for development, to achieve shared goals, and to overcome any difficulties or obstacles. He referred to the Concept Paper that Bahrain presented on "Promoting Intra-Asian Tourism", at the ACD Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the 68th session of the United Nations general assembly in New York. The Paper seeks to encourage tourism among ACD countries, and to launch the "ACD Asian Tourism City" concept. It looks to devise new ways to consolidate cooperation and enhance people-to-people contacts, to encourage investment in new areas, to open the doors of intra-Asian cultural and tourism exchange.

 

Participation in the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition Bahrain Map