Americans queue up to sample the varied attractions of Abu Dhabi


Americans queue up to sample the varied attractions of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is revving up its drive to attract tourists from across the globe.  And that includes Americans too. Its new campaign makes a pitch for its tourism potential, inducing US citizens to make 2020 their year to visit the UAE capital. It also spotlights the complete safety factor in the emirate, and the range of extraordinary creature comforts that one can enjoy.

Already a new award scheme has been slated to be launched in April to honour landmark developments in the travel and tourism industry.
The new Abu Dhabi Tourism Excellence Awards, ADTEA, have been conceived to recognise significant achievements, stimulate engagement and networking, and raise the industry’s overall competitiveness – both at home and abroad.

Abu Dhabi’s 168 hotels and hotel apartments are enjoying worldwide visibility and dramatic growth. The hospitality sector offers a full range of accommodation ratings including luxury five-star establishments.

A panel discussion under way at the event.

After another successful year for tourism in Abu Dhabi, which saw a 5 per cent year over year increase of American visitors to the destination, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a compelling case at this year’s New York Times Travel Show about why American visitors should make 2020 the year they visit Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi’s participation in the New York Times Travel Show was organised by The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in partnership with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier. Abu Dhabi’s exciting events calendar was showcased through Visit Abu Dhabi, the official source for accurate information on Abu Dhabi experiences and attractions for visitors.

A dedicated panel discussion was hosted to shed light on Abu Dhabi’s offerings, led by Saeed Al Saeed, Destination Marketing Director at DCT Abu Dhabi, who was joined by Sumathi Ramanathan, Director – Destination Marketing for Expo 2020 Dubai, Shinez Chalabi, Industry Manager for Google, and Amanda Leung, Business Development Director for Etihad Airways. The panel was moderated by The New York Times recognised travel writer, Michael Luongo.

Ali Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi said that the destination chose to return as a sponsor of the New York Times Travel Show in part because America’s largest and most diverse city offers parallels to Abu Dhabi’s unique and diverse tourism destination that is welcoming to all visitors.

“We believe having the opportunity to share our story with the tremendous audience at last year’s New York Times Travel Show helped contribute to our incredibly successful 2019, which is why we came back and were excited to share our plans for 2020. From one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks and Louvre Abu Dhabi to our captivating cultural treasures and calendar of world-class events. This year also includes the incredible Expo 2020, which the UAE capital will play a key role in. Abu Dhabi is a destination that embraces the modern world whilst celebrating its rich traditions.  It is an exhilarating place ripe for today’s curious traveller, and we are proud to be able to showcase that through our partnership with the New York Times,” said Ali.

Speaking at a panel about travel to the Middle East, Saeed Al Saeed told industry professionals that customisation of the tourism product was key to attracting American visitors. “Through intentional creation of distinct districts, such as Yas Island – our destination within a destination for family fun and Saadiyat Island, the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural assets including Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – we are creating highly personalised experiential opportunities that deeply resonate with audiences, from cultural explorers to multi-generational families,” said Saeed.

All attendees of the New York Times Travel Show had the opportunity to participate in a digital activation to win an all-expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways, The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi. This year, the show was visited by 34,015 attendees including 11,041 travel professional, 1,134 media representatives, 22,974 consumers, and 700+ exhibiting companies from over 176 countries.

“We are confident that Abu Dhabi will surprise and surpass the expectations of New Yorkers, and we invite the people of New York and all of America to visit Abu Dhabi in 2020 and write their extraordinary story there,” concluded Ali Al Shaiba.



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