Tourism chiefs establish representative office in New Delhi to target growth in Indian visitors
Tourism chiefs in Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates which make up the UAE, have set up a destination representation office to serve the growing Indian market.
The move by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) comes as it indentifies India as having the biggest potential to drive tourism growth in the UAE capital.
Abu Dhabi has appointed a team, based in New Delhi but to serve the whole country, including dedicated MICE and PR representations.
Veteran Indian travel industry professional Bejan Dinshaw will lead the team as it looks to increase visitor numbers to Abu Dhabi.
Internationally, the UK remains Abu Dhabi's key overseas market for hotel guests with 129,180 British staying in the emirate from January to November, a two percent increase on 2011.
India now ranks as the destination's second largest overseas source market for hotel guests with 125,180 Indians staying in the emirate - a 30 percent increase on 2011.
Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, said in a statement: "This is a natural progression from the work we have done over the past two years when we have been getting the pulse of the Indian market via road shows and participation in trade fairs.
"We have reaped dividends from our 'toe in the water' approach with India now being our second largest overseas market for hotel guests after the UK.
"You can gauge our aspirations of the market by the fact that we are launching our first international road show for 2013 and we chose to have it in India."
He said that if growth trends for the UK and India continue as they have been for the past 12 months, India will likely become Abu Dhabi's largest overseas source market for hotel guests in 2014.
TCA Abu Dhabi, along with its trade partner Lama Tours, led a 12-strong industry delegation representing its attractions, hotels and airline sectors on a five-day road show across five cities in the country this month. The road show took in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.