ABU DHABI – Passengers arriving and transiting Abu Dhabi International Airport are getting a surprise introduction to Eid traditions at a special festive season tent where they are invited to relax, sample local teas and coffees, dates and lquimat doughnuts, all served up with an explanation of the celebrations which mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) initiative, activated in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), is attracting a strong response from tourists, many of which are receiving their first taste of the legendary Arabian hospitality.
“This is one way of spreading awareness of our cultural traditions to other nationalities and hopefully ignite a desire within these passengers to learn more about our heritage and perhaps return to Abu Dhabi to experience it first-hand,” said Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, media manager, ADTA.
The initiative was an immediate hit with Swedish tourists Karin Karlsson and Ida Ahlborg who were transitting Abu Dhabi International on their way to a three-destination Far East holiday.
“Everyone was so friendly,” said Karin. “We tasted the coffee, which to be honest, I found a bit weird, but the tea was good. The guys here have explained Eid to us – and really we did not know anything about it. We had never thought of holidaying in an Arabian country before – but I think we’ll have to give it more thought in the future.”
The Dunn family from Manchester in England also found the tent a “very warm place to relax” during a short stop on their journey to Malaysia. Four-year-old Olivia was fascinated by the color and vibrancy of the tent as she joined her mother Sheha in sampling Abu Dhabi hospitality.
“She has never seen anything like it before so is absorbing everything,” said Sheha. “We often travel to the Far East from the UK and to be honest had not thought of having a break here – but obviously it has much more to offer, and for all ages, than we realized.”
The hospitality tent is being operated in the run up to Eid and continuously through the festive season.