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Abu Dhabi in second year of premier partnership with WTM

Written by editor

Abu Dhabi and World Travel Market move into year two of a successful partnership at the exhibition.

Abu Dhabi and World Travel Market move into year two of a successful partnership at the exhibition. This unique two-year agreement has positioned Abu Dhabi as World Travel Market’s official Premier Partner for 2007 and 2008 continuing to underline the Gulf emirate’s commitment to Britain’s top travel show and to building its global profile.

The largest of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates and home to the country’s capital city, Abu Dhabi has emerged as one of the world’s most rapidly-developing destinations in recent years following the government’s decision to promote tourism as a key priority sector in its diversification strategy.

This year WTM will welcome over 50 partners on the Abu Dhabi stand where new products and services will be launched, further increasing awareness and recognition of this growing tourism region.

Along with the growth of Middle East representatives at WTM, increasing numbers of visitors from around the world are interested in finding out more about the area and are actively selling it to their customers. 36% of visitors, comprised of over 8,000 international senior buyers who attended WTM 2007 actively sell the Middle East to their clients.

It is this scale and caliber of visitor which has persuaded the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to sign on as WTM’s Premier Sponsor for 2007 and 2008 and, according to its director general, His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, the sponsorship is paying dividends.

“Last year we used WTM for the international launch of our new brand and achieved huge global awareness. This year we will build on the solid foundation of the past 12 months and demonstrate the growth in our offering with exciting new leisure and destination products.

“Overseas promotion is a key strategic business priority of ADTA’s five-year plan 2008-2012, which looks to achieve 2.7 million hotel guests a year by 2012 – 1.25 million more than the annual guest stay achieved last year. This managed approach to growth holds out substantial opportunity to the travel trade and hospitality investors who are looking to play a role in the advancement of Abu Dhabi into an internationally-recognized business and leisure destination.”

The ADTA will continue to use its Premier Partner platform to help promote Abu Dhabi as a discerning destination for the more culturally aware, up-market traveler. Besides year-round sunshine, fine hotels and excellent facilities for leisure, sport, shopping and dining, the Emirate offers an authentic taste of traditional Arabian culture and outstanding natural beauty, including vast tracts of spectacular unspoiled desert dunes, cooling oases, miles of pristine sandy beaches and dozens of accessible islands.

Abu Dhabi is also progressing a number of landmark, stand-alone projects from city hotels to desert retreats, from island, nature-based resorts to championship standard signature golf courses, as well as a new Formula 1 circuit to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 2009.

The ADTA emphasizes that the paramount consideration in all these developments will be to focus on world-class quality and on maintaining aesthetic, cultural and environmental harmony.

Commenting on the partnership’s move into its second year, World Travel Market chairman, Fiona Jeffery said, “After a very successful first year as Premier Partner at WTM, we are working closely with the ADTA to continue the momentum for 2008. As a rapidly-growing tourism destination and the winner of the World’s Leading New Destination at the 2006 World Travel Awards, Abu Dhabi’s future on the tourism world map continues to increase and its tourism goals merge well with World Travel Market’s mantra to seek, develop and provide a platform for new destinations, innovations, trends and learning for the industry.”

Firmly established as the global fulcrum of debate and discussion for the travel and tourism industry, World Travel Market is held annually at ExCeL London. This year’s event takes place from November 10-13.