ABUDHABI (August 6, 2008) – The UAE capital’s name was in the spotlight in the unusual venue of New York’s Central Park when Abu Dhabi sponsored a breakfast and fun run of over 60 Incentive Tourism ‘Young Leaders’ from over 20 countries.

Abu Dhabi backed the run – part of the annual Academy For Young Leaders event held by the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (SITE) – to encourage best practice in incentive tourism planning. SITE, which has over 2,000 members in 82 countries, is the only international, not-for-profit, professional association devoted to pursuing excellence in the multi-billion dollar global incentives industry.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which is responsible for the promotion and development of the Arabian Gulf emirate’s international tourism industry, is a keen SITE supporter. ADTA’s Business Tourism Manager, Gillian Taylor represents the Middle East and Africa on SITE’s Global board of directors.

“Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a recognized name within New York, thanks to the agreement to build the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, plans by New York University to open its only overseas liberal arts campus in the UAE capital, the recent purchase of the Chrysler Building by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Etihad Airways’ non-stop daily service between Abu Dhabi International Airport and JFK,” explained Taylor.

“So the timing was very apt to sponsor an event in this most cosmopolitan of cities and educate our industry’s young leaders on Abu Dhabi’s distinctive incentive offering. It was also appropriate for Abu Dhabi, a city noted for its extensive network of beautiful public parks, to host a run through New York’s most famous public park.”

Throughout the run SITE’s ‘Young Leaders,’ sheltered from the New York summer weather by baseball hats courtesy of Emirates Palace hotel, had to answer quiz questions which tested their knowledge of Abu Dhabi.

“Feedback was excellent,” said Taylor. “This investment has paid off by ensuring that we have a cadre of young incentive leaders who are now very knowledgeable about Abu Dhabi which has immediate incentive potential.”