United Arab Emirates –Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) are set to launch their largest roadshow in Saudi Arabia in a bid to further increase the number of visitors from the Kingdom.
The roadshow will include stops in Jeddah, Riyadhand Dammam which will begin on August 26. The delegation comprises more than 20 of Abu Dhabi’s leading tourism sector stakeholders,including airlines, hotels, attractions, and tour operators.
“This is a physical illustration of the growing strategic importance of the vital Saudi source market to Abu Dhabi’s immediate and long-term tourism objectives,” said Mubarak Al Shamisi, Saudi Arabia country manager, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Overall hotel guest arrivals last June 2012 increased year-on-year by 17 per cent, with 6,661 Saudi Arabian guests accrued across Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments — a 57 per cent increase on the same month last year, according to recent TCA Abu Dhabi figures.
Approximately 36,430 Saudi Arabian hotel guests stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments during the first sixth months of this year – a 36 per cent rise on the equivalent half-year in 2011.
“Geographic proximity is one of Abu Dhabi’s many selling points to Saudi tourists,” added Al Shamisi.
“As well as sharing borders, our two peoples are united in various aspects of our cultures. Abu Dhabi has become a home-away-from-home for thousands of Saudis eyeing short leisure breaks, cultural excursions and business trips in a familiar and nearby environment.”
With large numbers of Saudi nationals traditionally travelling to Abu Dhabi by land, improved air links from numerous Saudi gateways to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) have increased travel options. Among the road show stakeholders, Etihad Airways, the UAE’s award-winning national carrier, operates 42 weekly services between AUH and three Saudi cities, including 13 flights to both Riyadh and Jeddah and 16 services to Dammam. Additionally, Saudi Airlines operates daily services to AUH from both Jeddah and Riyadh, while NAS Air operates a daily flight from Jeddah.
“Connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia is better – and more affordable – than ever,” added Al Shamisi.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority was named Middle East’s Leading Beach Destination, Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards in 2012. It also won Middle East’s Leading Marketing Campaign by the prestigious awards body.