Abu Dhabi eyes increase in Russian tourists

Delegation of officials head to Moscow next week amid visitor push

Travel, Abu dhabi tourism & culture authority, Etihad airways, Russia

A 16-strong delegation from Abu Dhabi's tourism industry is heading to Russia next week as the UAE capital looks to build on rising hotel guest arrivals from eastern Europe.

The Leisure Moscow delegation, headed by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, includes hotels and resorts, Etihad Airways, inbound tour operators and destination management companies.

The delegation will mount a co-ordinated promotional push of Abu Dhabi as latest figures show a significant rise in the number of Russians staying in the emirate.

In the first seven months of this year, some 10,061 Russians checked into Abu Dhabi's hotels and resorts, a 38 percent rise on the same period last year.

Together they accounted for some 58,114 guest nights, a rise of 42 percent over the same comparative period.

"Russia is an increasingly important market for Abu Dhabi with the country now entered our Top 20 ranking of our most productive overseas sources," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, TCA Abu Dhabi.

"An increasing number of MICE and business travel companies are including more UAE possibilities in their brochures and packages - our aim is to ensure Abu Dhabi features among them."

Russians' air access to Abu Dhabi has improved during the last seven months with Etihad Airways flying daily from Moscow and the country's first private carrier, TransAero initiating twice-weekly, non-stop flights for tour operator bookings to Abu Dhabi.

The visit is among a number of initiatives TCA Abu Dhabi is undertaking this month to stimulate increased response from the Russian and CIS markets. Others include roadshows taking in Kiev in the Ukraine and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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