Abu Dhabi Tourism targets Saudi with new office
Abu Dhabi , May 16, 2012
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has opened a full-fledged office in Saudi Arabia to penetrate the kingdom’s high potential outbound market.
The office, on Jeddah’s main King Abdul Aziz Road next to the Star Avenue Mall, will have dedicated trade promotion, MICE and public relations staff and will double as a visitor centre providing walk-in customers with all the information they need on destination Abu Dhabi.
The move comes as Saudi Arabia and other GCC destinations produce more hotel guests for the emirate than ever before with authority officials believing there’s more potential from the region, said a statement.
In the first quarter of this year some 45,823 GCC nationals, excluding Emiratis, stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments – a 57 per cent increase on Q1 2011. In all they notched up 101,587 guest nights – up 50 per cent on the first quarter of 2011.
Saudi Arabia produced the lion’s share with some 22,107 Saudis staying, making the Kingdom Abu Dhabi’s fourth largest international source market.
“This market on our doorstep is extremely important to us,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “There are excellent air links between Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi with Etihad, the national airline of the UAE now flying 23 times a week from the Kingdom to Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabian Airlines operating 14 flights a week on the same route.
“Many others, of course, may opt to drive to Abu Dhabi and on the way can call in at the new resorts in Al Gharbia, such as the Desert Islands Resort & Spa on Sir Bani Yas Island which recently opened equestrian stables and which is soon to have a dedicated dive centre,” he said.
“There is much more to see and do in Abu Dhabi this year than last – and there is much more to come. Two major new resorts will open this summer and by the end of the year, Yas Island will have the UAE’s largest waterpark which we are sure will be a big draw with GCC clientele,” said Al Nuaimi.
The office is headed by 32-year-old UAE National Mubarak Al Shamsi, who hails from Al Ain and has worked with the authority since 2004 in a number of roles.
“We have identified three main priority areas with the first being to convert market demand to visitation,” explained Al Shamsi. “This will initially centre around our Summer In Abu Dhabi campaign and up-coming events such as November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. We will work closely with our Saudi Arabian partner tour operators to achieve this.”
The authority’s Saudi office opening comes as it spearheads its first major travel fair promotion in the Kingdom along with 12 of its key stakeholders. A special Abu Dhabi pavilion has been mounted at the Riyadh Travel Fair, which runs from May 15-18.. – TradeArabia News Service