Abu Dhabi rides high with global tourist attractions

Abu Dhabi rides high with global tourist attractions

Abu Dhabi Tourism is going full throttle to push the destination as the next big tourist hotspot for Indian visitors with the upcoming Louvre and Guggenheim Museum.

Swaati Chaudhury
For Indians who are big on outbound travel, Abu Dhabi is an unexplored, high-end and affordable tourist destination in the Emirates. It comprises 200 islands and is an hour drive from Dubai with residents having the highest per capita income. With Etihad Airways taking off from Kolkata Airport sometime on February 15, this year, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) made its premier foray into Kolkata to target Bengal travellers and offer a big boost to outbound travel in the eastern region.

There are a plethora of pleasant surprises in store for Indian tourists on a visit to Abu Dhabi. There is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the world’s largest mosque with the largest carpet in the world. Yas Shopping Mall figures as the largest mall in the Gulf region.

Yas Island has emerged as an entertainment hub and Saadiyat Island is the cultural district. Add to these, there is Ferari World Abu Dhabi best known as the only Ferari-branded theme park in the world.

Bejan Dinshaw, Country Head, Abu Dhabi TCA said, “India is the largest source market for Abu Dhabi. We have a lot of corporate incentives for business tourists flying down to Abu Dhabi replete with leading convention centres. The average stay for Indians is five days-four nights and with the introduction of electronic visas, it is quite easy to procure visas for Abu Dhabi. The destination offers value-for money attractions. Golf is the new fascination for Indian travellers and for golfers; Abu Dhabi provides the new experience that they would like to have. Golf excursions are in demand among high-end Indian tourists who visit in groups.” Dinshaw further said that the destination has three golf courses with hotels attached to it.

Abu Dhabi will soon get world-famous museums like the Louvre, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Museum on Saadiyat Island. It fares high as a wedding destination. Dinshaw added, “There were 12 weddings in Abu Dhabi from the eastern states last year. The leading Indian travellers are leisure, corporate, corporate incentives and honeymooners.”

Kolkata is only four hours from Abu Dhabi by flight and with Etihad Airways flying down to Kolkata, there will be stopover facility in Abu Dhabi with all US immigration and customs formalities done for Kolkata flyers going to the United States. “We are expecting a sound increase in tourist traffic from Kolkata. Etihad- Jet Airlines alliance will operate 200 weekly flights from 14 cities of India including Lucknow and Pune by the year end. We have recorded 32 per cent rise in Indian tourist footfall year-on-year basis,” further added Dinshaw.

Snapshot
Global tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi:
· Louvre Abu Dhabi to open later in 2015.
· Zayed National Museum will open in 2016.
·Guggenheim will come up in 2017.
·Three world-famous golf courses.

Blurb:

“Golf is the new fascination for Indian travellers and for golfers;

Abu Dhabi provides the new experience that they would like to have,”

Bejan Dinshaw, Country Head, Abu Dhabi TCA.

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