We had the honour of interviewing Mr Rashid AL Noori, A representative from the ministry of culture and tourism for the republic of Azerbaijan. Mr Noori has been working in tourism for 35years and has focused on establishing new destinations for the GCC market. He has looked at creating a traffic flow from the GCC to various parts of the world. Widening GCC locals’ horizons in travel, because everyone goes to the UK, USA and Wider Europe right? Mr Noori is involved in Azerbaijan today, so we grabbed this opportunity to share his ideas with you!
Azerbaijan is located within a 2hr flight from any point within the GCC, it is a new destination and a country that got independence from the former Soviet Union in 1990s. In the past 10yrs the governemtn has been focused on building infrastructure for tourism. The country is very rich in oil, and was actually the first oil producing nation in the world.
To highlight a few things; Azerbaijan has hosted some large events. These include; Eurovision 2013, 2015 European games and this year they are currently hosting the formula 1 racing, with the fastest no speed limit track! (HOW EXCITING!)
Mr Noori starts by telling us about how the main market on inbound tourism has been from former Soviet Union countries, the caucus region and Turkey. In November 2015 visa requirements were waved for UAE nationals, they can now obtain it on arrival, which saw a huge intake of UAE nationals! Following this, in February this year, the government lifted visa requirements for the rest of the GCC and a few far east countries like Japan, Singapore, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The yare also considering waving it for residents of the GCC
Why should people visit Azerbaijan?
It is an ideal location In terms of distance, the culture is common to the GCC and there is a high tolerance for religion and different faiths. The country is safe and UAE visitors in the past have found they have received excellent treatment by locals and they loved the weather! In fact, some of them were quite surprised at how good the weather was!
Mr Noori then went on to tell us about the new properties, the restored historic 3-5* hotels following world standards, with fine dining restaurants and plenty of recreation! Many people return to the same places!
There are daily flights from Dubai with Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways has 11 weekly flights (Which they plan to expand soon!) and interest has been shown by Etihad airways, Air Arabia and other major airlines.
What kind of people would you recommend to travel to Azerbaijan?
People who like city life and history, there is a mix of everything form shopping malls and superb 5* facilities to the old city and historic monuments. It is also a great business district with excellent cuisines for every taste bud!
Mr Noori goes on to tell us how he would suggest people to enjoy the cities but also explore the different provinces and outside cities, away from the capital! There is more greenery and great weather! His final words were; “Go without any expectations, you will be surprised to see how the city will reward you, it is a city that many find a second home and they look forward to returning too!
He finally wishes everyone a Safe and enjoyable trip!
We would like to thank Mr Noori for taking time out of his busy routine to answer our questions and to tell us about Azerbaijan, We hope we would be visiting Azerbaijan soon to share our travel experience and tips with our readers. ~ Dubai Blog