Cambodia has been largely overlooked by the Middle East but there are signs that things are changing with the major Gulf airlines leading the way, reports Forbes.
Plans to boost tourist numbers in Cambodia have drawn the interest of Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, which announced last month that it was to start daily flights between Dubai and Phnom Penh from July 1. It will join Qatar Airways, which has been flying to Phnom Penh since 2013.
While Cambodia could have much to gain from new air links with the Gulf, the Middle East s unlikely to provide many more of its higher-than-average-spending tourists. Instead it is the one-stop connections the airlines provide to Europe and the Americas that will be more important.
Until now, Gulf involvement in Cambodia has often focused on aid, although there have been a few commercial deals too. In both arenas, Kuwait has tended to be the most active of the Gulf countries.
In trade terms, Emirates says it expects garments and clothing to be popular exports from Cambodia. Rice and halal foods are other areas which could see a lift. As yet, Gulf construction firms have not been involved in the mini construction boom taking place in Phnom Penh, but there is potential there too.