The public and private sector in Abu Dhabi are joining forces for a major promotion at this month’s inaugural Gulf Incentives Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) - a three-day event for the global meetings and incentives industry. Around 30 of the UAE capital’s hotels, hospitality providers, ground handlers, travel and tour operators and the Abu Dhabi Golf Club will be out in force in a special pavilion designed to reflect the past, present and visionary future as the emirates looks to make its mark on the lucrative business tourism segment.
‘The private sector has really got behind us for this initiative and is equally determined that Abu Dhabi will show what it can offer now, and what it intends to provide in the future,’ said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which has spearheaded the promotion.
‘With trade visitors expected from all corners of the globe, we have the opportunity to present our case as a safe, competitive, unique and reliable destination for business tourism initiatives.
‘And with the event being held in the capital, they will be able to discover for themselves its relaxing ambience, magnificent shoreline and the state-of-the-art facilities offered at ADNEC. Our intention is to outline some of the major facilities now being built throughout the emirate and which will provide inspiring venues for unforgettable incentives.
‘We will also be looking to spell out to the 250 regional and international hosted buyers attending the depth of professionalism and expertise Abu Dhabi now boasts for destination management and future event management.’
GIBTM, the new international event dedicated to the art of building meetings, incentive events and business travel, will be held from March 13-15 at the new Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The event boasts over 175 regional and international participants and 250 regional and global hosted buyers.
Sheikh Sultan said the Business Tourism push would be emirate-wide.
‘It will not focus solely on the capital city but extend outwards to showcase our desert and oasis heritage with emphasis on Al Ain in particular,’ he said. ‘This will demonstrate the diversity of Abu Dhabi’s offering.’
Abu Dhabi’s status as an emerging international golf destination will also be under the spotlight.
‘Sport and Business Tourism are a natural fit. We have a series of international sporting events on our radar including the Formula 1 in 2009 and this year’s cycling Race of Champions. In addition, great new golf courses are planned for Saadiyat Island, the island lying 500 metres offshore Abu Dhabi city and being transformed into a strategic international tourism destination by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and Yas Island, being developed by ALDAR,’ said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA.
Abu Dhabi has already invested in a substantial upgrade of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club - home to the annual US $2 million Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, which is now a key feature on the European Tour.
‘The upgrade has been well received by members, guests, corporate planners and the PGA players who contested the championship last January,’ added Al Muhairi
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