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UAE direct flight push by tourism ministry

THE United Arab Emirates will review beginning direct flights between Dubai and Phnom Penh, according to Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.

The minister spent much of last week in Dubai, where Dubai Civil Aviation Authority President and Chairman of Emirates Airline Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum pledged to review a 2005 Memorandum of Understand to establish the flights, he said yesterday.

“They will review their MoU with us again, in order to push direct flights from Dubai to Cambodia as soon as possible,” he said, but declined to provide a timeline for the flights.

While direct flights would boost tourism, Thong Khon said that UAE-based firms were interested in business opportunities in the Kingdom, which would be facilitated by direct flights.

“[The UAE] is preparing to cooperate on trade and investment with Cambodia. UAE-based companies plan to buy rice, rubber, fruit and lumber from Cambodia,” he said.

Representatives from the UAE are to travel to Cambodia to study the opportunities in more detail.

Cambodian Association of Travel Agents President Ang Kim Eang said yesterday he welcomed direct flights from the UAE.

A number of countries have recently begun direct flights to Cambodia, including Air France, which resumed flights between Paris and Phnom Penh on March 31 after a 37 year hiatus.

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