Abu Dhabi – His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said in a statement released today, “Etihad’s growth and that of Abu Dhabi’s expanding international upscale tourism proposition are inextricably linked. Etihad is a key stakeholder in Abu Dhabi’s tourism strategy which addresses the incredible opportunity the emirate has to capitalize on its advantageous location, natural assets, climate and unique culture.

“Ease of access to Abu Dhabi is a prime prerequisite in our strategy of becoming an internationally-recognized business and leisure destination and an essential service delivery priority which will help drive the emirate’s tourism development. The placing of this significant fleet expansion order signals a new era of growth for Etihad, for Abu Dhabi and the emirate’s destination enhancement intentions.”

Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said, “This major order [of airplanes] significantly adds to Etihad’s own credentials as one of the fastest-growing carriers on the global aviation and travel landscapes. It also serves to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s standing as an international business and leisure destination.

“A first-class transport infrastructure is an intrinsic component in the managed growth strategy we have in place to achieve our aim of receiving some 2.7 million hotel guests annually by 2012. In placing these orders, Etihad has demonstrated our concerted commitment to delivering on this stated aim. It has also again justified the considerable trust now being placed in the destination by an expanding public and private sector investor base.”