India is the No. 1 Source Market for Destination Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is attracting Indian outbound travellers with multi-faceted attractions.

Abu Dhabi is home to renowned global events throughout the year. A wide range of activities are on offer for all age groups to enjoy. India is currently Abu Dhabi’s leading overseas source market for hotel guests. Abu Dhabi welcomed 231,702 Indian hotel guests in 2014 at a growth rate of 32% over 2013. There were 850,443 guest nights in 2014, at a growth rate of 23% over 2013.

“Abu Dhabi offers both traditional and modern attractions. The key segments are leisure, special interest, destination wedding and honeymoon, niche travellers and MICE. We are attracting a large number of incentive and conferences business travellers with our Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau’s Advantage Abu Dhabi incentive programmes – where meetings planners can get help, financial and other, if the bring viable business events to the destination. Applications for Advantage Abu Dhabi can be made on the bureau’s website – www.abudhabi-cb.ae – and should be aligned to 12 specific economic engine sectors identified in Abu Dhabi’s 2030 economic vision,” said Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, India, TCA Abu Dhabi.

One of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic landmarks is the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, named by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards as the world’s second most sought after landmark. Emirates Palace – one of the world’s most opulent hotels – is a must-visit property for its sheer opulence and luxury quotient, at surprisingly affordable rates.

“With a vast range of attractions for the whole family, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island is becoming increasingly popular with Indian travellers as a complete entertainment destination. There are multiple attractions, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s only Ferrari-branded theme park with more than 20 rides and the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa, reaching speeds up to 240kmph! F1 fans can have a thrilling experience with the state-of-the-art F1 track at Yas Marina Circuit, where petrol heads can drive a Formula Yas 3000 or Aston Martin GT4 around the same circuit as the pros. Yas Waterworld – featuring 43 rides, slides and attractions spanning a sprawling 15-hectares – is an award-winning water park and there’s Yas Links, a championship-level 18 holes Links course, which was voted among the world’s top 25 courses, outside of the US,” said Dinshaw.

The long-awaited Yas Mall is now open. It has more than 370 stores and is only five minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, 15 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi. More than just a shopping destination, Yas Mall will provide its visitors with a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment offerings within an exceptionally vibrant shopping environment – and don’t forget Abu Dhabi’s shopping is tax-free. Yas Mall also has a direct link to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, opening up a range of exhilarating entertainment options.

“Abu Dhabi is also attracting arts and culture lovers with the fast developing Saadiyat Island Cultural District. With its sweeping beach, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and stunning beachfront resorts, Saadiyat Island will soon be home to a series of world-class cultural institutions. The Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi will open this year, followed by the Zayed National Museum next year and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017,” said Dinshaw.

TCA Abu Dhabi capped off a very successful year 2014 with a number of activities promoting the destination. There were travel trade workshops in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. We have also conducted similar workshops in the beginning of 2015 in Chandigarh, Lucknow and Kolkata. We are continuing the endeavor for a greater networking with the popular Evening with Abu Dhabi, which have taken place in Goa and Pune most recently.

We also received a favorable response in the B2B fairs that we participated during 2014-15. We are undertaking joint destination familiarization trips and marketing initiatives with our national carrier Etihad Airways. Our primary focus for all marketing activities is to project Abu Dhabi as a unique destination with attractions and opportunities to indulge in and enjoy with the whole family,” Dinshaw informed.

“Our target is to endeavor to continue our current growth performance with a sustained rise in the number of hotel guests from India staying in Abu Dhabi. We hope to leverage on the emirate’s increasing ease of air access – with more flights than ever from a variety of Indian gateways – as well as affordability with value through a highly competitive average room rate which now stands at AED348 – or just US $95,” he added.

Abu Dhabi today is closer than ever with a huge choice of flights and customized packages. The multi award-winning national airline of the UAE – Etihad Airways – along with its partners are expanding routes and provide convenient and quick travel options across tier-1 and tier-2 cities all over India.

Currently Etihad operates over 120 flights per week from 11 Indian destinations to Abu Dhabi. Etihad also has a code-share agreement with Indian carrier Jet Airways, servicing a total of 71 routes. Jet Airways has begun daily direct services to Abu Dhabi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mangalore recently. The Etihad-Jet combine will together offer seamless connectivity with over 250 flights a week across 14 Indian cities by second quarter of 2015.

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