Abu Dhabi summer fest targets GCC families


By Abdul Nabi Shaheen  gulfnews.com

Tourism authority to open promotion office in Saudi Arabia in a bid to tap the vast market

Summer in Abu Dhabi festivalThe Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is keen to attract as many Saudi families as possible to its fourth Summer in Abu Dhabi festival that begins on June 30.

The ADTA also plans to open a promotion office in Saudi Arabia this year. This was disclosed by Ati Al Daheri, director of the Regional Promotions Section at ADTA in a press conference held in Jeddah on Saturday.

The briefing was part of a six-city road show across the GCC with the objective of boosting in-bound regional momentum as well as attracting families to the month-long festival.

Great treat

Al Daheri is pinning great hope on tapping the vast tourism potential of Saudi Arabia. “ADTA is striving to attract as many as two million tourists during the current summer. We managed to attract about 30,000 tourists from the GCC states during the first quarter of the current year,” he said.

Al Daheri said the forthcoming summer festival would be a grand treat in terms of the variety of programmes and activities as well as the number of participants and visitors. GCC families are primary targets for the festival, which includes an array of discounts and offers at the emirate’s attractions and hotels all aimed at pulling in a festival audience of 65,000 to 70,000, he said.

“There would be a three-fold increase in the number of programmes and activities this year compared with the previous year. These activities that will end on July 30 will focus on families from other GCC states.

“There will also be stage shows performed by internationally acclaimed troupes of artists, and their programmes will focus both on knowledge and entertainment,” he said.

“We ensure everything possible to make the trips of Saudi families to Abu Dhabi are comfortable and easy. We are staging a number of programmes in the Abu Dhabi Hall, the GCC’s largest indoor entertainment venue, to accommodate the large number of visitors expected from other Gulf countries,” he said.

Salient features

Speaking to reporters, Faisal Al Shaikh, director of activities, explained the salient features of this year’s festival.

There are also promotional offers at hotels, furnished apartments and fun cities throughout Abu Dhabi during the festival.

“The hotels in Abu Dhabi entertained 29,235 GCC citizens in the first quarter of 2011. This was an increase of 10 per cent compared with the same period last year.

“There has also been an increase of 44 per cent in the number of Saudi tourists during the period. A total of 13,119 Saudis visited the emirate during the first quarter against 9,083 during the same period in 2010,” he said.

Promotion offers

Saeed Al Tonaiji, director of public relations at ADTA, said that the festival will be a month-long, fun-filled extravaganza of family-centric activities, award-winning international acts and shows, premium edutainment and value-driven deals.

“For the first time in summer in Abu Dhabi history, a host of deals, discounts and attractive packages at attractions across Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s purpose-built entertainment destination just 10 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, has been incorporated into the event schedule,” he added.