OPM commits to providing cost to taxpayers for Dubai trip

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With a delegation of more than 100 people traveling to Dubai for Expo 2020, Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Latrae Rahming was not able yesterday to provide information on the estimated cost.

Rahming said the delegation was supposed to be larger but was reduced because the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation component was postponed. 

“The initial delegation, which was multi-ministry and had a trade component, I think given the case increase in Omicron, the delegation size was reduced to a significant amount and the trade component of it was postponed to the later part of the year,” Rahming said.

“I don’t have the actual overall figure but I do believe that there are more than 100 cultural components when you consider the band, Junkanoo, factors of our cultural expression.”

When asked during a press briefing at OPM how much the trip will cost Bahamian taxpayers, Rahming said much of the expense is being covered by the government of Dubai but he pledged to get the actual figures in the coming days.

“The cost, remember that this actual event is sponsored by the Dubai government and private sector partners,” he said.

“I think there is some element that the government of The Bahamas would have helped with…But the significant portion of the trip was sponsored by the government of Dubai.”

Rahming said the prime minister is going to Dubai to “identify opportunities for investment for The Bahamas”.

“The component of the travel of the prime minister was sponsored by the government of Dubai,” Rahming said.

“I think the government did their sum cost on sending participants.

“…As you are aware, the purpose of this event is to display the capacity of our country on a cultural side and on a technological side. We believe…that we’re going to give Bahamians the exposure required on the global stage. This group [is] comprised of Bahamian talent and choirs and bands and musicians, also the cultural artisans of our country, and we want to show that we have talent in our country.

“…If this small country could produce, per capita, the largest amount of athletes, produce a Sidney Poitier, we could make a significant investment in letting the world see our talent.”