Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, is expecting to attract 5.5 million tourists in 2018 as it plans to lure leisure tourists and place itself as a competitive market, a top official of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism said on 12 March.
Abu Dhabi in 2017 welcomed 4.8 million tourists, which allowed it to collect Dh5 billion ($1.5 billion) revenues from room and food and beverages expenses.
Sultan Al Dhaheri, executive director of the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, was quoted by Gulf News as saying that they were targeting 5.5 million guests in hotels in 2018, with most of them coming from their main markets. He said that they would be running roadshows and promotion activities in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well.
UAE’s second most populous city welcomed most of its tourists in 2017 from China, India, the UK, the Philippines, the US and Egypt. Chinese visitors comprised eight percent of its total tourists. As visa-on-arrival facility was made available for Chine and Russian tourists, their numbers swelled.
Increase in visitors was also enabled by cruise tourism as the number of passengers arriving by cruises rose to 346,000. About six cruise ships are said to be homeporting in the cruise terminal of Abu Dhabi, with the nationals of Europe accounting for most of the cruise passengers. In 2018, the Department is eyeing 370,000 cruise passengers.
Al Shaheri said that the inauguration of Warner Bros project in June 2018 would also increase tourism in Abu Dhabi. More tourist attractions would be added to Abu Dhabi to make it a tourist destination to reckon with, he said.
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism has 10 offices abroad in its crucial markets such as India, China and Germany and it is planning on opening some more. It also plans to target Indian weddings with strategies to allow special wedding planners from India to fly in.
If you are planning to visit Abu Dhabi, talk to Y-Axis, the world’s No.1 immigration and visa consultancy, to apply for a visa.