Abu Dhabi promises to maintain ‘COVID-free sanctuary’ for tourism events

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will continue its safe zone concept used during UFC Fight Island

Department of Culture and Tourism

Officials at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) have promised organisers will maintain the capital’s ‘COVID-free sanctuary’ during tourism events.

The city’s ‘safe zone’ concept was first used during the five-week UFC Fight Island event on Yas Island to great success. During the sporting spectacle, organisers managed to lock off 11kms of Abu Dhabi, creating a safe space for UFC personnel, Yas Island employees and event staff.

Event staff and participants were then COVID-19-tested every 72 hours and had a 14-day isolation period. Yas Island’s surrounding hotels were used as accommodation to help achieve Abu Dhabi’s ‘protected bubble’ during UFC Fight Island.

The ‘safe zone’ includes Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Links Golf Course, Yas Beach and the Flash Forum, with du Arena and Etihad Arena also able to be turned into safe zones. Moving forward, the Department plans to create similar safe zones across the emirate to accommodate more tourism events.

“We are extremely proud of the DCT Abu Dhabi-led ‘safe zone’ concept, which enabled us to deliver a comfortable and COVID-19-free bubble for five weeks, cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a safe global destination offering diverse experiences,” said H.E. Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Our partnership with UFC Fight Island has allowed us to innovate in setting a new benchmark in creating experiences for the public despite the recent circumstances caused by the pandemic. The lessons we have learned from this event will be carried forward as we continue to create new engaging experiences in a post-Covid-19 world, but at the same time take lessons we can use in other areas of events and tourism.”

DCT Abu Dhabi has assured that the Formula 1 Grand Prix event in Abu Dhabi this year will be within a safe zone, though the race will be closed to live spectators.

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