By Andy Sambidge
UAE capital announces plans for roadshow in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam from Aug 26
Tourism chiefs in Abu Dhabi are about to launch their largest roadshow in Saudi Arabia in a bid to further increase the number of visitors from the Gulf kingdom.
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority will spearhead the roadshow in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam starting on August 26.
The roadshow 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.
Recent figures show overall hotel guest arrivals in increased year-on-year by 17 percent, with 6,661 Saudi guests staying at Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments - a 57 percent jump on the same month last year.
Furthermore, some 36,430 Saudi hotel guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments during the first sixth months of this year - a 36 percent rise on the same period in 2011.
"Geographic proximity is one of Abu Dhabi's many selling points to Saudi tourists," he said, adding: "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."
Among the roadshow stakeholders is Etihad Airways, which operates 42 weekly services to three Saudi cities, including 13 flights to both Riyadh and Jeddah and 16 services to Dammam.
"This is a carefully tailored opportunity for Abu Dhabi's tourism partners to build new business partnerships and enliven existing relationships in an exclusive and focused environment," added Al Shamisi.