Abu Dhabi has signed to a unique two-year agreement to become World Travel Market’s official Premier Partner for 2007 and 2008 in a move that underlines the Gulf emirate’s commitment to Britain’s top travel show and to building its profile in the UK and wider European market.
The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has emerged as one of the world’s most rapidly developing destinations in recent years following the government’s decision to promote tourism as a key priority sector in its diversification strategy.
Voted the World’s Leading New Destination at last year’s World Travel Awards, Abu Dhabi plans to build on this success by capitalising on its outstanding natural and cultural attractions, as well as enhancing and diversifying its tourism infrastructure for the future.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), formed in 2004, has set a target of more than doubling annual visitor numbers from 1.35 million last year to over three million by 2015.
The ADTA will use the platform of its Premier Partner sponsorship to help promote the philosophy of Abu Dhabi, as a destination attractive to more discerning up-market travellers. Besides year-round sunshine, fine hotels and excellent facilities for leisure, sport, shopping and dining, the emirate offers an authentic taste of traditional Arabian culture and outstanding natural beauty, including vast tracts of spectacular unspoiled desert dunes, green oases and miles of pristine sandy beaches.
The ADTA will also use its Premier Partner status to showcase Abu Dhabi’s ambitious plans to expand and diversify its tourism facilities, including an increase in hotel capacity from 10,000 to 25,000 rooms by 2015. Many of these new hotels will be in specially designated development zones incorporating residential, commercial and recreational and cultural facilities, including the Saadiyat Island mega-project adjacent to Abu Dhabi city.
There are also plans for a number of landmark stand-alone projects from city hotels to desert retreats, island eco-resorts and other niche developments throughout the emirate, as well as attractions such as several additional championship golf courses and a new Formula 1 circuit to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 2009.
The ADTA emphasizes that the paramount consideration in all these developments will be to focus on world class quality and on maintaining aesthetic, cultural and environmental harmony.
Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market said that she is delighted at the partnership.
“Abu Dhabi is almost an untouched paradise but it is also rapidly emerging as an impressive centre of culture and cosmopolitan chic. The ADTA’s cultural quest to ‘honour the past and celebrate the future’ synergises perfectly with the continual development of World Travel Market.”