Clasically Arabian Shangri-La

The pool side at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

THE Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri overlooks the strait that separates Abu Dhabi from the mainland.

It offers classic yet contemporary accommodation combined with a rich Arabian cultural influence. Levent Tekun, director of marketing, Shangri-La, spoke to TTN from the hotel’s luxurious setting.

How successful was ATM for you last year?
Last year the hotel was not open yet so we showcased our up coming products.  All in all, the event was great for us as this was the last international event before we opened our doors for the first time on 12th August 2007.  It helped us created a lot of excitement and anticipation.

What are your plans at the show this year?
To continue working closely with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to develop and encourage tourism in the emirate in line with its objectives. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi is the newest edition to the planned developments of the city and we are proud to be part of the whole bigger picture.
Gradually we will see the opening of the Shangri-la Residences, exclusive villas, a new concept of high end luxury water front dining and of course the souk.  All of these will be linked with the opening of the abras. We are working on a few other exciting projects and these will be announced in due course.

Who are you targeting at the show?
ATM is mainly leisure segment driven and our objectives are to continue to grow this segment to complement our business and meetings segments.  We work with some of the best DMCs in the country who have a sound base of international partners themselves. Together we will work together to ensure we meet the needs of the market.
What is your main objective at ATM 2008?
Over the years ATM has grown to be one of the leading travel exhibitions in the world. This is becoming more and more of a contracting period for Middle East/GCC hotels and we aim to be part of this evolvement of the market.  We will meet with our partners to discuss their needs for the new season and be part of the new brochure for the coming year.
What are the major industry issues that events like ATM must focus on?
The United Arab Emirates have very aggressive growth plans with in the travel and tourism industry.  It is buoyant and always difficult to guage the impact the current economic down turn in the US will have on our region.