Abu Dhabi seeks Summer tourism boost from Saudi

Local tourism essential to achieving 2012 goal, says tourism chief

Abu Dhabi wants to up number of GCC tourists.
Abu Dhabi wants to up number of GCC tourists.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has sent a 12-strong delegation to KSA this week, in order to build awareness of Summer In Abu Dhabi – the six-week festival tailored towards GCC families.

The Kingdom is Abu Dhabi’s primary GCC source market for tourists, with 7,379 Saudi visitors staying in the UAE capital’s hotels during Q1 2009 alone. The total number of GCC hotel visitors during the same period was 21,000.

“We believe Abu Dhabi has strong appeal within the GCC where it is recognised for its safety, its respect for culture, its wide family accommodation choice, service quality and appreciation of Arabian Gulf visitor needs,” said ADTA director of tourism standards Nasser Al Reyami.

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“Saudi Arabia currently ranks as Abu Dhabi’s sixth largest hotel guest market. 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 of distinction attracting 2.3 million hotel guests annually by 2012,” he added.

Al Reyami said that the Summer In Abu Dhabi carnival – running between July 1 and August 15 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – would be the perfect draw for Saudi families.

“It is a huge festival designed to educate, enthuse, engage and entertain all ages,” he said.

“The carnival could also be seen as the centrepiece of a longer break in Abu Dhabi which could also take in the heritage rich, and mountain oasis retreat of Al Ain, which has low summer humidity levels, and the unique island haven of Sir Bani Yas Island in Al Gharbia where families can take in the Arabian Wildlife Park with its herds of free roaming animals.”

Summer In Abu Dhabi is one of several events being promoted by the ADTA roadshow, with November’s F1 Etihad Airways GP and December's Fifa World Clubs Cup also featuring heavily.

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