ADDIS ABABA -- A four-member delegation from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is in Ethiopia to obtain first-hand information about the potential and investment opportunities in the country in various sectors.

The delegation, led by ADFD Equities Manager Shabeeb Hamad Sultan Al Darmaki, held discussions here Thursday with Ethiopian culture and tourism officials on potentials and investment opportunities in the hospitality and tourism areas.

The delegation was briefed about the country's tourism destinations, potential and investment opportunities.

Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Abdulkadir Risku said quality hotels were highly needed not only in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but also at tourist destination areas across the country and he urged UAE investors to engage in the hospitality industry, particularly the development of five-star hotels, for which there is huge potential.

Star-designated hotels, lodges and tourism-oriented operations were mentioned as among the activities in which UAE investors could engage. We encourage UAE investors to engage in five-star hotel development since they have excellent experience in this sector," the ambassador stressed.

He assured the delegation that the Ethiopian government was committed to facilitating investors who wished to engage in hotel development.

The ADFD Equities Manager said the discussions with the culture and tourism officials was very fruitful and expressed the view that the country could be the best place to develop hotels and tourism attractions.

The Abu Dhabi Fund has experience in such activities because it has invested in the past in the tourism sector, he noted,

"We do have the knowledge, so the tourism sector is in our highest priority," he added.

The delegation will provide all the information it gathers in Ethiopia to potential investors back in the UAE so that they come here and conduct feasibility studies. The ADFD is an autonomous foreign aid agency established by the government of Abu Dhabi in 1971 and it provides concessionary loans to fund economic and social development projects as well as peomotes investments in order to encourage the private sector in the recipient countries.