Uganda, UAE Sign Deal to Build New International Airport To Boost Tourism, Trade

Uganda, UAE Sign Deal To Build New International Airport To Boost Tourism, Trade

1 month ago
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Uganda-UAE Agreement Announced

Uganda has agreed with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to construct a new international airport, President Yoweri Museveni’s office announced on Friday.

This new airport will be Uganda’s third, marking a significant expansion of the UAE’s economic involvement in the East African nation. The UAE already has interests in Uganda’s renewable energy and oil and gas sectors.

Strategic Location Near Kidepo National Park

The new airport will be located just outside the Kidepo National Park in northeastern Uganda, near the border with Kenya.

This strategic location is expected to significantly boost tourism, by attracting more visitors to the 1,442-square-kilometer Kidepo National Park, which is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including lions, giraffes, buffaloes, and other big game.

Uganda, UAE Sign Deal to Build New International Airport To Boost Tourism, Trade

Project Details and Timeline

Although the statement from Museveni’s office did not disclose the cost of the project, Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, chairman of the Sharjah business body, confirmed that construction is set to commence in August.

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The project is part of a broader initiative to enhance infrastructure and stimulate economic growth in the region.

Economic and Diplomatic Implications

President Museveni, who attended the signing of the agreement, emphasised the importance of this development. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he stated, “The agreement is a sign of the deepening relations with our Gulf partners and another opportunity to cooperate in investment and trade.”

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Al Owais expressed optimism about the project’s potential impact. “We believe this airport will not only open up Kidepo National Park to more tourists but also create numerous job opportunities and foster stronger ties between our countries,” he said.

Boost to Tourism and Local Economy

The new airport is anticipated to play a crucial role in increasing tourist arrivals, which will in turn benefit the local economy.

According to Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism, Kidepo National Park is one of the country’s top tourist destinations due to its rich biodiversity and scenic landscapes.

Local businesses are also expected to gain from the increased foot traffic. John Okello, a local tour operator, expressed excitement about the project. “This airport will make it much easier for tourists to visit Kidepo. It’s a game-changer for us in the tourism industry,” he said.

Environmental Considerations

While the development is welcomed by many, some conservationists have raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the airport. They urge the government and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ensure that the project adheres to strict environmental standards to preserve the park’s natural beauty and wildlife.

The construction of the new international airport near Kidepo National Park represents a significant milestone in Uganda-UAE relations and is expected to have a substantial positive impact on Uganda’s tourism sector and local economy.

As construction begins in August, stakeholders remain hopeful that the project will be implemented sustainably, benefiting both the environment and the people of Uganda.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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