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Wed 17 Apr 2013 01:41 PM

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Abu Dhabi plans souk project to lure tourists

Traditional souk will be located at historical gateway to Abu Dhabi island, say officials

Abu Dhabi plans souk project to lure tourists
An artists impression of the new souk planned for Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi has unveiled plans to build a traditional souk to help draw more tourists to the capital.

The proposed 150,000-square-metre souk would be located at the historical gateway to Abu Dhabi Island, opposite the Maqtaa Tower and between Sheikh Zayed and Al Maqtaa Bridges.

It also would link to Khalifa Park and Sheikh Zayed Mosque, two of Abu Dhabi’s biggest attractions.

In a statement, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City said it hoped to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage and values for the community as well as visitors.

The souq would be the feature of a mixed-use waterfront complex, also including hospitality, entertainment and leisure outlets and an open-air performance space.

The city did not reveal a price-tag or timeline for the souq.

Tenders to develop and operator the complex would be announced later this year.

Hotel revenues in Abu Dhabi grew by 6 percent to AED4.6bn ($1.25bn), after welcoming more than 2.38m guests through their doors in 2012.

The figures showed that 13 percent more people stayed in the emirate’s hotels in 2012 compared to 2011, beating its target of 2.3m guests.

Guest nights rose by 12 percent year-on-year to 6.99m, but hotel occupancy was down 5 percent year-on-year, standing at 65 percent in 2012.

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