Abu Dhabi is out to boost tourism from Oman


MUSCAT – Abu Dhabi is out to boost its inbound tourism from Oman with expanding events, attractions and accommodation proposition. A delegation, spearheaded by the Abu Dhabi Authority (ADTAADTA), the apex body that manages the emirate’s tourism industry, is in town to spell out its enhanced offering — the November 1 Etihad Airways Formula 1 TM Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and will be quickly followed by the Fifa Club World Cup in December.

“Oman’s proximity to the UAE capital and Omanis’ love of soccer lead us to expect many will make the trip to Abu Dhabi this December,” said Saeed Al Dhaheri, visitor information manager of ADTAADTA.

“In November, Abu Dhabi is going to be in celebratory mode during and after the event with activities for race-goers and non-fans alike,” he noted.

Al Dhaheri outlined the latest developments in Abu Dhabi’s expanding tourism proposition — which includes more events, new hotels, including seven on Yas Island where the Grand Prix will be held, a new dessert retreat in Liwa, new airline routes servicing the destination and the arrival of new attractions including the world-renowned Big Bus Company, which is to begin its own brand of city tours in the UAE capital next month. “Attraction upgrades are happening throughout the emirate, in the capital city, in the Eastern Region, particularly the Oasis City of Al Ain and in our vast Al Gharbia Western Region,” explained Al Dhaheri.

“The options are highly diverse and span museums and historical sites in Al Ain, the marvels of the Liwa Dessert and the Sir Bani Yas Island nature-based destination in Al Gharbia, new golf courses coming on line on Yas Island, Saadiyat Island and an expanded course in Al Ain, luxury and business hotels and an events programme which is to be expanded and upgraded,” he added.

He pointed out that the GCC is currently producing 100,000 hotel guests a year for Abu Dhabi, which is 10 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s total international hotel guests. “We believe that figure can be substantially increased with out Gulf neighbours representing a prime market for the development of sustainable business links and ongoing visitor generation,” Al Dhaheri said.

Approximately 4,000 visitors from Oman stayed in the emirate’s hotels in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 32 per cent compared to the first quarter in 2008. In all the GCC produced 21,000 hotel guests in Abu Dhabi in the first three months of this year. “Oman remains a key market, central to the continual growth of regional tourism in Abu Dhabi. The GCC, as markets in close proximity and characterised by a propensity to travel locally during challenging times is vitally important as Abu Dhabi moves forward in its aim of becoming an international destination attracting 2.3 million hotel guests annually by 2012,” he added.