Abu Dhabi vibrant with sports tourism

30th Jan 2007

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is witnessing a vibrancy in sports tourism following numerous sports events that the emirate has been hosting throughout the month of January. These events which have attracted a myriad of spectators and fans locally and internationally, are being organized or sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, (DTA), the body overseeing the tourism sector in the emirate.

While the ADTA is a major sponsor for the 18th Gulf Cup, it is the chief organizer of the Abu Dhabi Golf Tournament which kicked off last Thursday.

The ADTA is also organizing the renowned Al Ain Aerobatics which will open in January 26th, 2007.

Being the body entrusted with tourism promotion in the emirate, the ADTA has a vested interest in organizing or sponsoring these events. This is

mainly because sports events have the potential of stimulating tourism growth as they gravitate fans and visitors from across the globe.


“The numerous sports events hosted by Abu Dhabi are indeed a yardstick demonstrating the ability and potential of Abu Dhabi as a favorite regional

and global destination for sports tourism”, said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, ADTA Chairman.

Sheikh Sultan added that Abu Dhabi emirate is keen to diversity the annual calendar of the sports and cultural events so as to position the emirate firmly on the map of global tourism.

Meanwhile, ADTA Director General Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi said the sports events hosted by Abu Dhabi recently have reinforced the international

profile of Abu Dhabi. These events, he said, have portrayed the emirate in a positive light.

“The huge response by tourists and visitors to these sports events has prompted the ADTA to focus on the sports events as means to promoting

tourism growth in the emirate. We have realized that Abu Dhabi enjoys massive potentials on sports tourism”, he said.

It is estimated that over half a million people will flock to Abu Dhabi from within the UAE as well as from abroad to attend the sports events

being hosted by the emirate.

According to estimates, these sports events are expected to be covered by over 1500 sports journalists. Hotels in the Abu Dhabi are bracing for higher occupancy rates, with some hotels having already declared full occupancy following earlier bookings by sports delegates and spectators.

The ADTA is expecting a spectator turnout for the Abu Dhabi Golf Tournament to hit 20, 000 after organizers succeeded to attract around 120 international golfers. Some tempting prizes to the tune of $ 2 million have been tagged

for the tournament.

According to Noel Massoud, General Manager of Emirates Palace Hotel, the Palace is expecting occpancy rate to remain as high as 75% throughout

this year. The hotel is expecting a flux of visitors from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Russia.

“These estimates are based on our objective basement of the events that we are sponsoring in Abu Dhabi, notably the Golf Tournament for which

we are the chief sponsor”, said Massoud, adding that the hotels boasts 394 deluxe rooms, which makes it ideal for the 120 golfers.

For his part, Le Royal Meridien General Manager Ziad Aun said the 2007 forecast for the hotel industry looks promising.

“Our hotel hit an occupancy rate of 77% last year. This year also looks Promising and we expect to main this higher rate”, he said.

The Armed Forces Officers Hotel, which is hosting players of the 18th Gulf Cup, also announced full occupancy. The 590-room hotel has undertaken all the necessary preparation to provide maximum relaxation for its visitors”

said George Bakhaazi, General Manager.

Abu Dhabi Golf Tournament

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) launched the Abu Dhabi Golf Tournament last year. The inaugural edition was a huge success as it attracted professional players across Europe. The inaugural edition attracted 17599 spectators

Worldwide in addition to massive television coverage which succeeded to get the tournament across to 120 households in 28 countries.

According to ADTA Director General Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, the tournament is set to make further international strides and is certain to enhance the international profile of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain Aerobatic

Al Ain International Aerobatic Championship is a major sport event organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) during January 26th-30th, 2007.

The Championship has over the past four years drawn tens of thousands of visitors from f Abu Dhabi and outside the UAE. It has also served

as stimulant to internal family tourism, for both citizens and residents of the UAE, towards Al Ain city. This unique sport event has further enticed a wide international participation of most skilful pilots from around the globe, who will treat the public with dazzling and highly professional air shows and formations. The pilots will dazzle an audience of 125,000

from 40 countries.

The Al Ain International aerobatic Championship has become an international sport tradition and a main feature of the city. The previous edition has made the event firmly embedded and more distinctive in terms of its ability to gather increasing numbers of visitors and participants together. It has also established itself as one of the most important specialized aviation

activities at the regional and international levels.

Gulf Cup

ADTA is also sposnoring the 18th Gulf Tournament which kicked off in Abu Dhabi in Jan.17th at the Zayed Sports City. A budget of Dhs. 25 million

has been earmarked for the tournament which is being covered by 1200 reports and watched by 400,000 fans.

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