Breaking Travel News Interview Questions with Liam Findlay, chief executive, Miral Destinations
With the opening of SeaWorld Yas Island now just a few days away and a number of World Travel Awards secured, the future is looking bright for Miral Destinations.
Here Breaking Travel News chats with chief executive, Liam Findlay, to find out more.
Breaking Travel News: Dubai recently celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Arabian Travel Market – how did the Miral Destinations delegation contribute to the event?
Liam Findlay: As with every year, we were delighted to be present at the Arabian Travel Market to highlight the latest milestones across Miral Destinations and exchange valuable knowledge and sector expertise with key industry players and travel partners.
The exhibition is a unique platform to connect with our various stakeholders and for creating new business opportunities that further the positioning of Yas Island and Saadiyat Island as world-class leisure, culture and entertainment destinations.
Each of our award-winning destinations has instilled a unique mark on the global tourism map as we continue to work with our regional and international trade offices to offer full-inclusive packages that appeal to solo travelers and families of all preferences.
During this edition of the Arabian Travel Market, we presented unique complementary packages and exciting partnerships that will continue to extend to visitors a wide spectrum of leisure and entertainment offerings available at both unique destinations.
BTN: How would you describe the mood in the Abu Dhabi tourism sector as we approach the key summer season?
LF: We are anticipating a busy summer season ahead and we are working with our various stakeholders – both locally and internationally – to highlight both islands’ exciting packages and offerings for adventure-seekers and families.
Abu Dhabi has long established its position as a top-of-mind choice for travelers and we are pleased to join hands with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) to showcase a wider range of attractive offers on both destinations to our key source markets across the world.
To this end, we have recently announced the return of Yas Island’s ‘Kids Go Free’ summer packages, providing guests and little ones with the chance to eat, stay and play for free, including access to the destination’s world-class entertainment, featuring Yas Theme Parks and the highly anticipated SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, opening its doors on May 23rd.
BTN: Miral Destinations itself has been instrumental in the success of Abu Dhabi – leading construction on both Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Can you tell us a little about both – what do they offer?
LF: As mentioned, we work with our various stakeholders, including the DCT, to display attractive offers for guests and families across the UAE and around the world.
Much of what we do revolves around promoting Yas Island and Saadiyat Island as leading destinations for leisure, culture and entertainment.
The breadth of culture, entertainment and leisure offerings on both destinations continue to evolve with guests’ rising demand, catering to their ever-changing needs for renewed experiences and unforgettable memories that they can share year-round with their loved ones.
BTN: What do guests have to look forward to this year in the two destinations – are there any special events on the horizon?
LF: We have recently announced the launch of our newest CIO campaign with Hollywood sensation Jason Momoa.
This has been very well received by fans and we are excited to extend the CIO narrative following Kevin Hart’s farewell.
The campaign showcases to the audience how they can #LiveitUpLikeMomoa; an entertaining video series that highlights the variety of leisure and entertainment offerings on Yas Island.
Most recently, we announced the launch of Yas Island’s ‘Kids Go Free’ packages as part our participation in the thirtieth edition of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
The summer offering is a unique opportunity for guests and little ones to extend their stay on Yas Island and avail access to all three award-winning theme parks; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.
We also signed a partnership agreement with Wego to promote the opening of SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi and to expand the marketing of Yas Island’s ‘Kids Go Free’ summer packages across the UAE and the GCC.
The opening of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be the latest addition to Yas Island’s entertainment offerings, and we have seen a growing appetite from Arabian Travel Market’s visitors after having showcased a miniature in-park experience at the exhibition.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be the region’s first Marine Life Theme Park and we are looking forward to welcoming guests once the park opens its doors officially on May 23.
In addition to the year-round calendar of events at Etihad Arena, Yas Island visitors can look forward to an infinite line-up of entertainment activities fit for every preference.
As with Saadiyat Island, which has quickly grown to be a hotspot for culture and leisure seekers from around the world, we are delighted to have announced our partnership with luxury tour operator IF Only at ATM, to offer visitors and travelers an inspiring visit to Saadiyat Island, the Middle East’s Most Beautiful Beach Destination.
BTN: Yas Island has been recognized as the World’s Leading Theme Park Destination at the World Travel Awards, while Saadiyat Island has been honoured with the trophy for Middle East’s Leading Beach Destination – how important are accolades such as these?
LF: We are proud to have been awarded prestigious accolades by international industry bodies, a unique milestone which reaffirms our contribution to the travel and tourism sector with fan-favourite world-class attractions that resonate with our audience from around the world.
In 2022, we received over 85 awards, and we will continue to raise the bar higher as we expand our offerings across the destination.
As with the much-awaited opening of SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the region’s first Marine Life Theme Park, we are aiming to widen the horizons of our entertainment portfolio to deliver best-in-class guest experiences for families and adventure-seekers from around the world.
As for Saadiyat Island, the capital’s leading luxury and beach destination, we are working closely with our partners to create new and exciting opportunities for travelers to experience arts and culture like never before, with the likes of Louvre Abu Dhabi, along with upcoming attractions such as the Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi and teamLab Phenomena.
BTN: What caught the eyes of World Travel Awards voters – what is the secret of your success?
LF: Our guests have been accustomed to the exceptional culture, leisure and entertainment experiences on Yas Island and Saadiyat Island and we are pleased to cater to their preferences with every new milestone.
By nature, we strive to enhance our offerings to appeal to a diverse range of guests. As such, the measure of success lies in continuously providing guests and families with a wide selection of complementary leisure and entertainment offerings that can allow them to share unforgettable experiences with their loved ones.
Breaking Travel News caught up with Liam Finlay at Arabian Travel Market – take a look above.
Find out more about Miral Destinations on the official website.