Sports, culture and MICE will lead Abu Dhabi’s drive for incoming tourism this year, with the re-opening of the global tourism economy.
Abu Dhabi is keen to highlight its position as one of the world’s finest cultural hubs. Its array of cultural attractions, including the growing Saadiyat Cultural District, with new additions including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, and Abrahamic Family House, which will join its establishing attractions Louvre Abu Dhabi and Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Abu Dhabi is also home to ancient archaeological sites of UNESCO-designated Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas) which date back to the Neolithic period with vestiges of many prehistoric cultures, including circular stone tombs (ca 2500 BC), wells and a wide range of residential buildings, towers, palaces and administrative buildings.
On the sports tourism side, Abu Dhabi will be hosting the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the first time in the region in October. The Ultimate Fighting Championship are also set to return to the Etihad Arena.
The MICE sector also remains at the forefront of Abu Dhabi’s tourism drive with a host of business events and conferences. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways was voted ‘World’s Best MICE Airline 2021’ by voters of World MICE Awards.
Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, told Arabian Business that as visitor numbers increase further, Abu Dhabi will have a very exciting calendar of events, openings and initiatives planned for what promises to be a very busy year for DCT Abu Dhabi.
He also told Arabian Business that Abu Dhabi is looking to capitalise on its growth, and is committed to positioning itself as a centre of excellence and innovation, and the development of the new creative industries economy.
Abu Dhabi’s government has already invested $2.3bn (AED8.5bn) over the past five years to support its CCI strategy and will invest a further $5.98bn (AED22bn) over the next five years.
The latest milestone in the emirate’s drive to expand the entire CCI was the launch of its Creative Media Authority in January. The emirate aims to create synergies between multimedia creative sectors enabling the private sector to create opportunities to invest and to grow careers in this dynamic sector. A key focus is to nurture and attract young talent, with the aim of tripling the number of jobs across media and entertainment to 16,000.