Abu Dhabi gears for ‘best summer festival ever’

Abu Dhabi corniche

SUMMER in Abu Dhabi – the six-week family-centric festival – has been expanded to attract greater numbers of GCC visitors to the emirate and deliver greater benefits to its tourism sector.

The festival’s organiser Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), has brought eight venues in Abu Dhabi and the emirate’s heritage city of Al Ain under the Summer in Abu Dhabi umbrella and galvanised stakeholders to provide one-for-one visitor deals during the festival period from June 24 to August 5, 2010.

“This is the biggest summer event to hit Abu Dhabi yet,” said Dayne Lim, product development director, ADTA. “It’s a strong pitch to families within the GCC to come and spend time in Abu Dhabi where they’ll be guaranteed fantastic value and awesome entertainment.”

The festival will see a wide array of family activities and entertainment staged at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (Adnec), Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall and Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi, as well as Al Jimi Mall, Al Ain Mall and Bawadi Mall in Al Ain. 

ADTA will be the main presenter of all of the events, with the exception of Khalifa Park where the Abu Dhabi Municipality will present the entertainment. 

The Adnec festivities will comprise two unique branded entertainment acts, which will each run for two to three weeks in the recently-inaugurated Abu Dhabi Hall – the region’s biggest entertainment venue seating 6,000 – as well as Hall 11 which will be packed with six edutainment zones with activities for every age group.

Over at the six shopping malls there will be a packed programme over six weeks centred on family entertainment, education and togetherness. The programme includes plans for indigenous cultural performances, multi-dimensional entertainment experiences, ‘live’ cooking classes, competitions and workshops. The mall festivities will be complemented by an array of special offers and promotions from retailers.   

To entice GCC families to Summer in Abu Dhabi, ADTA and its stakeholders are rolling out an expansive one-for-one campaign which will see GCC travellers receiving free air seats for children, complimentary room nights, meal deals, discounted attractions and free tours.

A host of one-for-one deals will be on offer with award-winning Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, providing one child’s seat (under 16 years) free for every adult ticket bought, across any class, from any of  five GCC cities – Riyadh, Manama, Muscat, Doha and Kuwait. One-for-one hotel and restaurant deals will be on offer at more than 30 four and five-star hotels and attractions in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

To cap off the Summer in Abu Dhabi experience, ADTA will lay on complimentary cultural tours for visitors, daily tours from Abu Dhabi city to Al Ain and free admission to selected places of interests.

“Our aim is to attract an additional 25,000 hotel guests to the emirate during this festival period which would be a 15 per cent increase on last year,” explained Lim. The GCC is Abu Dhabi emirate’s second largest international market after the UK. In the first quarter of this year, some 26,685 GCC nationals stayed in hotels throughout the emirate – a 29 per cent rise on the same period last year.

The authority has also launched its revamped corporate web-site – – to give greater support to its stakeholders with new services being transferred to e-processes.

The site will provide a valuable source of information about the authority’s burgeoning calendar of industry training programmes which features monthly sessions ranging from customer service workshops to digital marketing briefings. From January to March this year the site received some 20,482,587 hits with users spending an average of three minutes and 23 seconds on the site.