Published on : Monday, November 26, 2018
Kansai Tourism Bureau, Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau and Wakayama Prefectural Government, along with hotels, tour operators and cultural attractions from the Kansai region will meet with representatives from UAE aviation, travel and tourism leaders, and travel agent workshops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The primary objective of the visit will be the promotion of Kansai’s long history, unique traditional and urban cultures, as well as the exciting shopping opportunities and attractions of the Kansai region as a must-see tourist destination for UAE and GCC residents.
Kansai region is located in western Japan and was the centre for Japanese culture, government, religion and history for more than 1,000 years. Co-existing with beautiful nature, Kansai is the heartland of Japan, where visitors can find the origins of Japanese culture and spirituality, not only through the five Unesco World Heritage Sites located in the region, but also in the traditional crafts, gastronomy and people themselves.
From the large commercial and modern entertainment city of Osaka, to the port city of Kobe with its exotic foreign influences, to the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto, to the spiritual heartlands of Wakayama and Mie, Kansai is where unique, different Japanese local cultures compactly exist within one region, making Kansai the best destination for travellers to experience the true essence of both traditional and modern Japan.
Emirates flies daily from Dubai to Kansai/Osaka International Airport, with the aircraft servicing the route recently upgraded to an A380 service from October 28; thereby providing an additional 38 per cent passenger capacity increase for visitors travelling from Dubai directly to Kansai.
Kansai is not only easily accessible, but open and welcoming to all international guests from all backgrounds. To make Muslim and Middle Eastern guests as welcome and comfortable as possible, many hotels, hospitality and restaurant partners throughout Kansai have made extensive efforts to learn the cultural and religious needs of Muslim guests, including making available various services and offerings that are Halal or Muslim-friendly.
Akihiko Shibahara, head of the strategic project office at the Osaka Prefectural Government, said “The Kansai region has a long-running connection with the UAE. Osaka City is a sister city of Dubai, and the Emirates direct flight to Kansai has been a great and valued partner in bringing the peoples of our two regions closer together. Through this mission, we hope to make Kansai even more accessible and inviting to travellers from the UAE and Gulf Countries, especially for those seeking meaningful holiday experiences that highlight unique cultures and traditions, breath-taking natural and manmade landscapes, exquisite local cuisine, and ‘omotenashi’ authentic Japanese hospitality. We are confident that all who visit Kansai leave inspired, rejuvenated, enlivened and enchanted. That’s what Kansai offers.”
A visa-waiver arrangement for UAE nationals started in July 2017, so that UAE nationals possessing valid ordinary e-passports can apply at the Embassy of Japan in Abu Dhabi or Consulate General of Japan in Dubai to apply for visa-waiver registration. In general, such applicants receive their passport with the visa waiver registration seal the next working day.
As a centre for Japanese traditional arts, crafts, and design, Kansai is also a shopper’s delight, offering many unique fashions, accessories, and finely crafted items in both traditional and modern forms that can’t be found anywhere else. Many Kansai retailers, including department stores, also offer foreign visitors tax-free shopping, whereby the tax is removed at the point of purchase, making for great savings.
In addition to representatives from the Kansai Tourism Bureau, Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau and Wakayama Prefectural Government, the 15 member strong Kansai delegation also includes high ranking representatives from such companies and organisations as JR West Hotels, Ritz-Carlton Osaka, Shokado Garden Art Museum, Kyoto Kimono Rental Yumeyakata, Total Flow as well as tour operators such as Ayabex, J-Links and the Japonesque.