UAE festival expects high turnout of GCC nationals and residents as region is the second largest market

May 28, 2010

The Gulf Cooperation Council was a primary source market for Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of the year, a manager from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said in Manama

“With 26,685 GCC nationals staying in hotels throughout the emirate, a 29 per cent increase on the same period last year, the figure made the GCC the second biggest overseas market for Abu Dhabi after the UK,” Faisal Al Shaikh, Events Manager, said.

Around 2,365 Bahrainis stayed in Abu Dhabi hotels during the first quarter of this year, Al Shaikh said. The figure represents an 11 per cent increase over the figures of the first quarter in 2009.

“The proximity of Bahrain to the UAE and the excellent air links between the two countries make the kingdom a prime market on our doorstep,” he said at the conference to promote the ‘Summer in Abu Dhabi’, the six-week family-centred festival.

Etihad, the Abu-Dhabi-based UAE airline, flies six times a week from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi, while Gulf Air flies the same route 28 times a week and Bahrain Air three times a week.

Al Shaikh said that the “Summer in Abu Dhabi” has been significantly expanded by its organiser with entertainment events held in eight venues across the UAE capital and Al Ain. It is the first time that the festival has reached out to the emirate’s Eastern Region heritage heartland.

“This is family entertainment at its very finest,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA. “It sets the tone of an entertainment and edutainment extravaganza which is larger than ever. Summer in Abu Dhabi this year will be the biggest summer event to hit Abu Dhabi yet and is a strong pitch to families within the GCC to come and spend time in the emirate where they will be guaranteed fantastic value and entertainment,” he said.

According to Ati Al Dhaheri, Domestic Promotions Section Head, Abu Dhabi’s tourism proposition has grown hugely since last year.

“There are new attractions, new operators, new hotels and resorts that make it a great family leisure destination,” he said. “Given the added attractions of Summer in Abu Dhabi, we hope to attract more visitors from Bahrain and have them stay longer and immerse themselves in Abu Dhabi’s varied experiences,” he told the media.

The ADTA delegation to Bahrain to present the festival to the media and travel trade included a mission of the destination’s stakeholders representing hotels, tour operators, meetings venue providers and airlines.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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