Abu Dhabi’s biggest-ever tourism offering will be in the spotlight at this year’s Arabian Travel Market, running in Dubai early May. Over 45 Abu Dhabi tourism stakeholders will fill a pavilion organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, voted “World’s Leading Tourist Board” by World Travel Awards, with more than 80 products – some being rolled out for the first time.
“The product line-up reflects the destination’s expanded offering and includes transports suppliers, hotel operators, major attractions, hospitality management companies, travel agents, tour operators, an international sports resort, MSC Cruises as well as desert, island, beach and golf resorts,” explained Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager, ADTA.
New to Abu Dhabi’s line-up are: Al Forsan International Sports Resort, the UAE capital’s latest multi-faceted destination which features a wide variety of leisure and extreme sports activities; Ayla Hotels & Resorts Management which is making its international exhibition debut at Arabian Travel Market and which recently opened the 153-room, four-star Ayla Hotel in Al Ain and Five Continents Hospitality, which manages the Mourouj Hotel Apartments in the UAE capital.
The pavilion will also feature some of the soon-to-open hotels in Abu Dhabi including the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa and the Jumeirah@ Etihad Towers, the first Jumeirah hotel in the UAE capital while Al Marfa Pearl Hotels Management will be launching its new rooms and watersport facilities at its Mirfa Hotel in Abu Dhabi’s Al Gharbia Western Region.
“The range of new business opportunities and partners means a visit to the Abu Dhabi pavilion is essential to regional operators wishing to expand their business within the emirate,” said Al Nuaimi.
This year marks Abu Dhabi’s eighth showing at Arabian Travel Market where the emirate’s tourism industry looks to forge stronger links with the GCC trade.
“The GCC market is extremely important to us because it is a market on our doorstep characterised by a strong propensity for travel,” explained Al Nuaimi. “Last year, the GCC, with the exception of the UAE, accounted for over 102,000 hotel guests to Abu Dhabi, which was a 19% rise on 2009. In the first two months of this year, the GCC market showed further signs of growth delivering over 20,000 hotel guests – a 14% rise on the same period in 2010. Of these markets, Saudi Arabia is proving the most prolific. In 2010, some 38,633 hotel guests from the Kingdom were welcomed into Abu Dhabi’s hotels – a rise of 26% on the previous year. The trend continued in the first two months of this year with some 9,645 Saudis staying in our hotels – a 61% rise on the same period in 2010,” said Al Nuaimi.
“There is increasing demand from Saudi Arabia, where ADTA is working to establish an office to serve this important market and the demand is creating business opportunities for the trade within the Kingdom. There is greater awareness throughout the GCC of Abu Dhabi’s much enhanced leisure offering making it a great, short-break destination for regional families and travellers, the Gulf trade should move to capitalise on this.”
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has wide ranging responsibilities for managing and assisting the development of the emirate’s tourism industry and the marketing and promotion of the emirate as a world-class destination of distinction. Its responsibilities include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate’s hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.