Dubai Tourism cuts red tape by dropping ‘PRO’ card for event planners and hotels

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has waived the requirement to obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card which was mandatory for hotels, tourism companies and event organisers. This was previously required prior to conducting any industry transactions such as requests for permits and approvals for a range of tourism and travel-related activities and services.

Following this deregulation measure, hotels and tourism companies including travel agents, tour operators and event management businesses can now submit requests and applications online via the Dubai Tourism portal, saving time and reducing operating costs. Previously, based on an Executive Council of Dubai Resolution of 2012, companies in the tourism industry were required to register their official representatives with Dubai Tourism and obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card for all transactions. Tourism and travel service providers were charged AED 1,000 per PRO card which was subject to an annual renewal fee, with penalties imposed on companies that violated the provision.Khalid Bin Touq, executive director—Tourism Activities and Classifications Sector, DTCM, said: “The cancellation of this precondition for conducting official transactions is to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city and follows the ‘Dubai Paperless Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

The latest deregulation steps taken by Dubai Tourism form part of the ongoing efforts to eliminate barriers to entry and growth for SMEs and start-ups and reflects our commitment to bringing relief to small businesses and entrepreneurs by minimising red tape and introducing hassle-free processes. The enhancements will also help create stronger synergies with our network of stakeholders by providing them with yet another incentive to boost performance, as we work closely together to achieve the goals of the 2022-2025 tourism strategy.”