Abu Dhabi is heading to London’s World Travel Market – one of the industry’s biggest trade fairs - with a high-energy promotion featuring more partners and products than ever before.
The 500 square metres Abu Dhabi pavilion has a totally new design to highlight the emirate’s great landscape, cultural and attractions diversity.
“We’ll be spelling out to visitors that this is a destination for families, independent and group travellers across a vast range of interests and price points,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director promotions and overseas officers, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“We have three highly differentiated regional offerings within our emirate – the largest of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates – and we’ll be highlighting their distinctive appeal.”
The new-look pavilion will be segmented into Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and its surrounds and islands; the Oasis City of Al Ain, which is the emirate’s heritage heartland and host to a myriad of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and Al Gharbia, the emirate’s Western Region, which is where the desert meets the sea.
Some 82 co-sharers will pack the pavilion – 13 more than last year – with a compelling mix of hotels and resorts, tour operators, attractions, destination management companies and state-of-the-art sporting and major event venues.
“Eight of the co-sharers are completely new to our World Travel Market line-up while many of the returnees have revamped and upscaled offerings,” explained Al Nuaimi.
“In all there are over 100 products being promoted in an emirate which it is easier than ever to get to, and where air connections with the UK are expanding thanks to Etihad Airways’ plans to launch a non-stop daily service from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh from June, its third UK gateway after Heathrow and Manchester.”
Included in Abu Dhabi’s WTM line-up is the home-grown new Andalus Hotels & Resorts brand which will open its first property – the Al Seef Resort by Andalus - in September next year and Al Ain Club Investment Company which is behind the iconic, 25,000 seat Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium – a game-changing major sports and events venue.
The pavilion will also host the official international launch of Al Ain’s new Al Bada Desert Resort and feature the pre-opening promotion of the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre which is nearing completion at Al Ain Zoo.
“We have a much bigger story to tell the industry.
“We are now a destination with so much more to see and do, where air links are excellent, one of the safest societies on earth and which is highly competitive in accommodation prices when you stack up the value delivered in terms of facilities and service excellence in comparison to some other destinations.”
“Following the season’s successful inaugural outing this year, we are already working on plans for 2015 to include shows by international artistes, beach activations, concerts, kids and family entertainment and comedy nights across the entire emirate backed up by unbeatable hotel and attractions deals,” explained Al Nuaimi.
Abu Dhabi believes next year’s Edinburgh-Abu Dhabi Etihad flights will again lift UK arrivals to the destination where Britain is already the second largest overseas market for hotels guests after India.
“Traditionally the UK has been a key source market for us and this looks certain to continue,” said Al Nuaimi.
“We are actively pursuing trade links with Scotland’s outbound travel industry and will be including the Scottish capital in our annual industry road show for the first time next year ahead of the new service to build destination awareness and stimulate consumer interest.”
In the first eight months of this year 122,893 Britons checked into Abu Dhabi’s 156 hotels and hotel apartments – which was a 27 per cent year-on-year uplift.
The UK guests delivered 533,181 guest nights, which was up 16 per cent year-on-year.
“The British guests are staying, on average, 4.34 nights and our task is not only to increase arrivals numbers but to convince those who do come to linger longer given that there is now so much to occupy them in terms of attractions and events,” said Al Nuaimi.