The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has “shown interest” in launching a ferry service to Karachi to tap into the tourism potential of the South Asian country, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE said, adding that he hoped the service would “start soon.” According to Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, the offer to launch the ferry has come from UAE government officials who met Pakistani officials at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), a tourism event organized annually in Dubai to provide a platform for inbound and outbound tourism professionals in the Middle East. A 25-member Pakistani delegation led by the Pakistani prime minister’s special advisor on tourism, Awn Chaudhry, is participating in ATM 2023 being held from May 1-4. “UAE government officials have shown interest to start ferry service to Karachi and we have asked them to share the details so that we could start work at our end,” Tirmizi said in an interview with Arab News. “After receiving the details of the ferry service plan, then we will start work on it.” The ambassador hoped the proposed service from the UAE to Karachi would “start soon,” Arab News reported. Over 2,000 exhibitors, including Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton and Burj Al Arab, from more than 100 countries are at this year’s ATM, with over 100 first-time exhibitors. Around 12 companies from Pakistan are participating. “UAE officials, including ministers, have said that lot of tourists are going to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other countries and suggested that Pakistan should also promote its aviation and tourism sector,” Tirmizi said about discussions with UAE authorities at ATM.”Some participants and tour operators have also suggested starting direct flights for Skardu, and making an international airport [there] because many tourists want to go there directly,” the ambassador said, referring to a major tourism, trekking and expedition hub in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.