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Mayor Buddy Dyer is in Dubai and Turkey this week

April 24, 2014

Just read this little tidbit on Mike Cantone’s blog, I Like Mike: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in Turkey this week to promote Orlando. His agenda notes that he’s traveling with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the Atlantic Institute (Orlando’s Turkish cultural center) and Orlando City Soccer club president Phil Rawlins (?!).

According to the trip itinerary, the goal is to make the case that Orlando is “ripe for additional air service,” so that explains the GOAA portion of the trip. And since this is an attempt to drum up some more Turkish and Arab tourism to the area, the presence of the Atlantic Institute makes total sense. But how does Orlando City Soccer fit into the picture? According to the itinerary, Rawlins is there to “promote Orlando’s new major league soccer franchise.” We don’t see soccer listed on any of the meeting agenda items, but we suppose the stakes are high right now for Dyer and Rawlins, who sold the city and county on the controversial deal to have Orlando and Orange County put millions into building a new major league soccer field for Orlando City Soccer. In exchange, the soccer franchise said, the city and county should expect a significant return on its investment in the form of soccer-related tourism and economic development – one economic-impact studied suggested it could bring $1.2 billion to the area over the next 30 years.

Another item on the Dubai-Turkey trip agenda: a super-secret confidential meeting with the CEO of some unnamed company and the Metro Orlando EDC to talk about bringing its HQ to Orlando.

Cantone has posted the full trip agenda to his blog here.


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