Renee Cluff

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Queensland Premier meets with Cairns hotel developer in Dubai

A high-level meeting has been held in Dubai between the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the owner of Crystalbrook Collection Ghassan Aboud.

Tropic Now understands Mr Aboud raised issues including the Cairns crime rate, infrastructure spending and tourism funding.


Crystalbrook Collection CEO Mark Davie told Tropic Now the meeting, in the Ghassan Aboud Group headquarters, was highly welcomed.

“Ghassan very much appreciated the visit and felt that the Premier showed genuine interest in the future of Cairns,” he said.

“The Premier has committed to providing further information, clarification and data on several issues of concern that was tabled at the meeting, such as the inequality of state infrastructure funding and the fact Cairns has been disadvantaged, the need for state support in tourism funding, and the crime rate."

Mr Aboud is investing more than 600-million in Tropical North Queensland through the construction of three luxury Cairns hotels and the redevelopment of the Port Douglas marina.

The Syrian businessman has previously voiced concerns about a need for the State Government to do more to bring tourists to the region.

The talks follow a mid-March tourism round table in Cairns, hosted by the Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

Mr Davie said while that conference was aimed at reversing a downturn in local tourism, industry leaders are yet to hear back from the State Government on an action plan.

“The Premier assured Crystalbrook Collection that Kate Jones and Tourism Events Queensland will continue to work closely with the tourism industry in Cairns to reverse the ongoing downward trend,” he said. 

“How this will be achieved is very much dependent on the financial support that can be provided by the State.

“The Premier offered to meet again on Ghassan's visit to Cairns later this year to discuss these issues, along with other points raised.”

The Dubai meeting occurred during Premier Palazsczuk’s trade mission to the United Arab Emirates, Germany and the UK.

Tropic Now has sought comment from her office.