Sheikh Maktoum (left) being given a tour of the Abu Dhabi pavilion
by Mubarak Al Nuaimi
Abu Dhabi showcases 90 product lines at ATM
Dubai, May 7, 2013
The Abu Dhabi pavilion is promoting 52 destination partners and close to 90 product lines at the 20th anniversary of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the biggest travel and tourism show in the Middle East ongoing in Dubai.
The Abu Dhabi stand was abuzz with activity on the first day of the exhibition as Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) which organised the pavilion welcomed a host of VIP visitors.
The Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum was given a tour of the pavilion by TCA’s director Promotions & Overseas Offices Mubarak Al Nuaimi.
The authority’s chairman, Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan toured the pavilion stopping at the extensive Yas Island display to congratulate Yas Waterworld – the recently opened aqua park on its being named the ‘Middle East’s Best Attraction’ in this week’s World Travel Awards and to congratulate the Rotana Chairman, Nasser Al Nowais on his group being named ‘Middle East’s Leading Hotel Brand’.
Sheikh Sultan also visited the Etihad Airways stand where he was joined by the Emirates Airline President Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Arabian Travel Market is being seen by TCA Abu Dhabi as central to its campaign to boost it’s the destination’s awareness and appeal within the GCC market.
“This market on our doorstep has to be a key focus of our campaign to boost GCC hotel guest numbers and to increase the length of their average stay in Abu Dhabi,” explained Al Nuaimi.
“While in the first quarter of this year we witnessed a slight fall off - just four percent – of GCC travellers checking into our hotels, the good news is that they are staying longer and hence delivering more guest nights – but this is still some way from where we want to be and tighter relations with the main GCC trade players is a goal to deliver this objective.
“We are pushing the message that there is so much more to see and do in Abu Dhabi now than ever before and that the destination is highly competitive in terms of value-for-money from our hotels and resorts. In fact the destination is very affordable across a range of price points which makes this year a great year to travel to Abu Dhabi.”
More product enhancements unveiled
As new market entrants, such as Yas Waterworld, the Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi were staking their claim to some of the destination’s increasing limelight, other exhibitors unveiled product enhancements to further up the ante.
The One-To-One Al Ain Fayda Resort, which recently opened following a $10 million renovation, revealed it has now opened the Sheikh Zayed Picture Museum – a collection of 300 photographs of the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The photographic collection – owned by Al Qudra Holdings, owners of the One-To-One Ain Al Fayda, now a four-star resort in Abu Dhabi’s heritage city – is housed on the first floor of the former Sheikh Zayed retreat and currently only accessible to resort guests.“We will, however, be opening it up to the general public later this month,” said Philippe Harb, hotel manager.
The second floor of the retreat houses the bedroom and living room of Sheikh Zayed exactly as it was when the former President frequented the resort.“This is open to view by invitation only,” explained Harb.
A classic car display has been mounted in front of the retreat with around 30 vehicles, including vintage Range Rovers, Corvettes and Mercedes, some of which previously belonged to Sheikh Zayed. “We are making Al Ain’s heritage accessible and relevant,” said Harb.
The resort has just opened a dedicated ladies gym and a ladies-only swimming pool which has been constructed with glass-fronted massage room overlooking the pool.
“Work has also started on a mixed spa on the third floor of the hotel overlooking the river and is due to open at the end of June,” explained Harb.
Also new to the expansive resort is the Riverside restaurant complete with corners dedicated to Emirati, Saudi ad seafood cuisine. “We are now farming various fish species in the river in collaboration with experts from the UAE University,” added Harb.
High on the resort’s agenda is the opening of a traditional heritage village where guests will be able to have a glimpse and taste of Al Ain in yesteryear. “This will be a permanent village and is due to open in 2014,” added Harb.
In the first quarter (Q1) of this year, 247,801 GCC nationals stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotel delivering 565,964 guest nights and increasing a GCC guest’s average-length-of-stay by 17 per cent on Q1 last year to 2.28 guest nights. – TradeArabia News Service