Arabian & African Hospitality
Investment Conference

20-22 September 2021 | Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, U.A.E

Speaker profile

Yousuf Lootah

Executive Director, Tourism Development & Investments
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing


From developing new tourism destinations to ensuring that Dubai proactively develops its hospitality capacity, Yousuf Lootah is entrusted with one of the most exciting and diverse mandates in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). As Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments, Yousuf leads Dubai Tourism’s “destination development from a tourism perspective” since 2014.

At Dubai Tourism, Yousuf has been utilising his extensive experience in strategic planning, investment management and business development to help develop innovative strategies and initiatives aimed at further enhancing Dubai’s position as a ‘must-visit’ sustainable tourism destination, from incentivising mid market hotels to open in Dubai to Dubai Hotel Capacity plan to enable Dubai to host the guests of Expo 2020 and beyond.

Launched by Dubai Tourism to support and encourage hotels to actively drive sustainable tourism practices, Yousuf leads the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative. To ensure the success of DST, he has helped develop the annual Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards to honour hotels that deliver on their sustainability goals, in addition to The Board Game and Carbon Calculator - two awareness tools used to promote sustainable practices within the industry.

Yousuf has been instrumental in shaping the Intelak Hub, which features three programmes - Intelak Incubator, Idea Lab and the Futurism Accelerator - to support ideation and early and late stage start-ups in the aviation and tourism sector. The Intelak initiative was launched in partnership with Emirates Group, Accenture and Microsoft. The four co-founders work towards ensuring an integrated and inclusive programme to explore and nurture the industry’s most visionary start-up entrepreneurs.

Yousuf also plays a pivotal role in the recently launched Retire in Dubai programme that offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above the opportunity to retire in Dubai and enjoy the emirate’s distinctive lifestyle. The Retire in Dubai programme is being implemented in collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai).

Cultural Tourism is also a key focus for Yousuf and his team, overseeing many of the developments made successful through private and public sector collaboration including the regeneration of the Dubai Historical District and Al Shindagha Museum, as well as projects such as ‘Visit Hatta’ and Al Marmoom Desert Reserve.

Yousuf is an MBA graduate of the prestigious London Business School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University School of Management.

See Yousuf Lootah speak in the following sessions:

17:15 – 17:45
FDI investment funds - how are governments supporting and investing into the hospitality sector?