Abu Dhabi aims to be No.1 destination for Indians

Last Updated 31 August 2014, 08:00 IST

As more and more Indians are flocking to the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi Tourism is stepping up its efforts to become the number one destination for visitors from the country, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said.

"India is one of the leading source markets for Abu Dhabi. Between January-June 2014, 1,07,995 Indian guests visited Abu Dhabi, clocking a growth of 35 per cent over the same period last year. These guests delivered 4,08,862 guest nights at a growth rate of 22 per cent over the same period last year. We are targeting to become the number one destination for Indians by the end of this year," Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, India told PTI here.

He said, Abu Dhabi is an interesting combination of historic, cultural as well as modern offering.

"Abu Dhabi is home to the charms of the Yas Island entertainment hub, Saadiyat Island cultural district, the historic Al Ain oasis and the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort luxury oasis.

The response from the Indian market has been encouraging as we continue with our marketing and promotional activities encompassing the trade and consumers to drive numbers to Abu Dhabi," he added.

For US-bound travellers Abu Dhabi provides hassle-free US immigration at the airport.

"We started this facility to tap those Indians travelling to the US to visit family and friends or on business purpose to halt here and spend some time. We introduced this facility at the beginning of this year, which helped in enhancing the number of Indians visiting Abu Dhabi," he said.

The connectivity is also very important for the growth in tourism and therefore, Abu Dhabi will put in more efforts to connect to more and more Indian cities, Dinshaw said.

"We understand that more connectivity will result into more visitors. So taking this forward, Abu Dhabi will have direct flights from Kolkata from February 2015. We will continue with our efforts to connect with more and more Indian cities," he said.

At present, Etihad operates 112 flights every week from 10 Indian cities to Abu Dhabi.

Etihad also has a code-share agreement with Indian carrier Jet Airways, servicing a total of 71 routes.

Abu Dhabi is targeting high to mid-segment travellers from India, including honeymooners, families and young travellers with its famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world's largest mosques, Yas Island that offers multiple entertainment attractions, including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld.

The Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi will open next year, followed a year later by the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017, he said.

"We have promoted well in metro cities till now. From this year, we are planning to penetrate deeper into the country by promoting in Tier-II and III cities," Dinshaw added.

(Published 31 August 2014, 08:00 IST)

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