With 52 destination partners – and close to 90 product lines – being promoted at the Abu Dhabi pavilion at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, the emirate looks certain for its most successful show in the exhibition’s 20 year history.
As new market entrants, such as YasWaterworld – just named Middle East’s Leading Attraction by the World Travel Awards – the Rosewood Abu Dhabi and DusitThani Abu Dhabi were staking their claim to some of the destination’s increasing limelight, other exhibitors unveiled product enhancements to further up the ante.
The One-To-One Al AinFayda Resort – which recently opened following a major US $10 million renovation – also revealed it has now opened the Sheikh Zayed Picture Museum – a collection of 300 photographs of the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the former onsite summer retreat of the man who is known throughout the UAE as ‘The Father Of The Nation.’
The Abu Dhabi stand was abuzz with activity on the first day of Arabian Travel Market as Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority which organised the pavilion welcomed a host of VIP visitors.
The deputy ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum was given a tour of the pavilion by TCA director promotions & overseas offices, Mubarak Al Nuaimi.
The authority’s chairman, HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan toured the pavilion stopping at the extensive Yas Island display to congratulate YasWaterworld – the recently opened aqua park on its being named the ‘Middle East’s Leading Attraction’ at this week’s World Travel Awards and to congratulate the Rotana Chairman, HE Nasser Al Nowais on his group being named ‘Middle East’s Leading Hotel Brand’.
Sheikh Sultan also visited the Etihad Airways stand where he was joined by the Emirates Airline President HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Arabian Travel Market is being seen by TCA Abu Dhabi as central to its campaign to boost it’s the destination’s awareness and appeal within the GCC market.
“This market on our doorstep has to be a key focus of our campaign to boost GCC hotel guest numbers and to increase the length of their average stay in Abu Dhabi,” explained Mubarak Al Nuaimi.
“While in the first quarter of this year we witnessed a slight fall off - just four percent – of GCC travellers checking into our hotels, the good news is that they are staying longer and hence delivering more guest nights – but this is still some way from where we want to be and tighter relations with the main GCC trade players is a goal to deliver this objective.
“We are pushing the message that there is so much more to see and do in Abu Dhabi now than ever before and that the destination is highly competitive in terms of value-for-money from our hotels and resorts.
“In fact the destination is very affordable across a range of price points which makes this year a great year to travel to Abu Dhabi.”