Abu Dhabi signs deals with travel brands to meet 24mln tourists target

Abu Dhabi has commissioned top travel brands to further drum up tourism in the UAE capital, as it races to deliver a footfall of more than 24 million visitors before the new year clocks in.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed ten “joint marketing programmes” with several companies including One on the Beach, Trailfinders, the leading tour operator in the UK and Ireland; Destination 2, which specialises in budget-friendly holidays and Kenwood Travel, which offers luxury travel for less.

Abu Dhabi has also extended existing agreements with major industry players, including Expedia, Lastminute.com, Amadeus and Dnata, to support the emirate’s “ambitious goal” of meeting its visitor target this year, according to a statement on Wednesday.

The deals were also signed with Voyage Prive, which will focus on adding Abu Dhabi hotels to its portfolio, and El Corte Ingles, a Spanish firm and owner of travel agency Viajes El Corte Ingles.

“The agreements will build on Abu Dhabi’s appeal to European travellers, harnessing the region’s potential to generate increased growth in visitor numbers to the emirate and supporting Abu Dhabi’s ambitious goal of attracting more than 24 million visitors to the emirate this year,” the statement said.

December is one of the busiest months in the country’s tourism season, with travellers from around the world flocking to the UAE to enjoy the warm winter.

Abu Dhabi is looking to end the year with more than 24 million visitors, up from 18 million last year. The UAE capital’s campaign strategy aims to attract tourists from Europe, particularly the United Kingdom (UK).

“The UK is a priority market for Abu Dhabi and we are committed to exploring new opportunities for collaboration with our valued UK and European travel partners,” said Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has so far logged more than 10.2 million passengers arriving in the UAE capital during the first half of the year, up from over 6.1 million last year.

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