Abu Dhabi rolls out red carpet for Mice travellers

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers unveiled its new Observation Deck at GIBTM

ABU DHABI’S 141 hotels and hotel apartments generated double digit growth in guest nights, revenue, occupancy and average-length-of-stay in February with guest arrivals nudging up seven per cent the same time last year.

“The fundamentals show that people are staying longer in the emirate which demonstrates that our message of there now being so much more to see and do thanks to expanded resort, attractions and business events offerings is resonating well,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

Fresh from launching the new Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – a one-stop-support-shop to help grow the emirate’s business events sector – TCA Abu Dhabi rolled out several upgrades to its Advantage Abu Dhabi incentive programmes at the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) last month.

“The emphasis at GIBTM was to sell in to the trade and media a new compelling range of support activations which will significantly increase Abu Dhabi’s appeal as a regional corporate business events and incentives hub,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, the director Promotions and Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi’s business meetings credentials are in the ascendance with the emirate having secured a number of major congress bid wins and more currently being pursued.

“What is standing out is how much more there now is to the emirate in terms of infrastructure and capabilities which will be evident via the stakeholder promotions being mounted at our GIBTM pavilion,” remarked Al Nuaimi.

“Abu Dhabi is now a place which corporate meetings delegates can get out and explore making heightening any event’s experience potential. Hence, the upgraded incentives will include a broader selection of activities, excursions and teambuilding activities,” he added.

Sharing Abu Dhabi’s GIBTM pavilion this year was a plethora of hotels and resorts, including the newly-opened Novotel and Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate hotels and the Shangri-la Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, which will be pushing its recently-launched Horizon Club Lounge for corporate clients and the soon-to-open, five-star The St Regis Abu Dhabi on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. The hotel believes its heart-of-the-city location, close to the headquarters of major oil and gas companies as well as Government institutions will give it a corporate edge.

“We will have a magnificent ballroom and meetings facilities which, together with 283 guest room and suites, will offer Mice clientele an outstanding option for small-medium size meetings and large catered events, such as weddings for up to 750 people,” said the hotel’s general manager, Oliver Key.

The Mice business is top-of-mind for the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resorts, whose participation was part of its campaign to increase its business by 15-20 per cent this year.

“Part of our strategy will be to attract new business by offering special promotional rates and discounts during soft periods,” said Khaled Amer, the director of sales and marketing.

“This year will see us further establish the hotel at a leading luxury Mice venue in Abu Dhabi with concentration and further development of Mice markets especially from the GCC, Europe and Asia,” said Greif.

Another landmark property, the five-star Hyatt Capital Gate launched its special B2B offers targeted at the GCC market.

“Our aim is to secure new co-operation with wholesalers and other third-parties to increase the volume of business from Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,” said general manager Ashwini Kumar.