Brace for more mega events, new experiences in Abu Dhabi: Official

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Abu Dhabi - Tourism department aims to start developing entertainment facilities that would attract big-ticket events to the emirate.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 13 Aug 2019, 11:02 PM

The Abu Dhabi government has set a goal: To turn the emirate into the world's best destination for leisure, business, sports and events, and offer new experiences to its residents. A top official has shared the details of how the Capital plans to make that happen.
Saeed Al Saeed, director of destination marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said that with the recently launched Dh600-million 'mega events fund', the tourism department aims to start developing entertainment and business facilities that would attract big-ticket events to the emirate.
"Abu Dhabi, as a city, is trying to expand its offering in terms of mega events. We have recently announced a Dh600-million (fund) just to bring major events into the city. We are trying to get all such events that will not only appeal to our community but will also draw tourists to the city," he told Khaleej Times.
Through marketing drives for major events, the department plans to promote Abu Dhabi as the hub of experiences for residents and tourists.
"There will be massive campaigns to promote not just an event but Abu Dhabi as a city to a wider audience," Saeed said.
Stronger push
Abu Dhabi has already achieved a strong global reputation in tourism with its major attractions like the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace and Qasr Al Watan; cultural sites Qasr Al Hosn and Louvre Abu Dhabi; theme parks at Yas Island, including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World; and entertainment facilities like du Arena and du Forum, to name a few.
Even major business conferences and events have found their ideal spaces at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and other luxurious hotels. Top sports events, on the other hand, are held at the Zayed Sports City and the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium Al Ain, among others.
But according to Saeed, a stronger push - in terms of promotion - will be made.
He said this strategy is evident in its campaign for the much-anticipated UFC 242, where the DCT-Abu Dhabi expects 4,000 tourists to arrive for the Khabib vs Poirier match.
The department has planned a seven-day series of events titled 'Abu Dhabi Showdown Week' in the run-up to UFC 242. There will be a concert by rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Arena, a new indoor venue constructed on Yas Island for UFC event. Pool and beach parties, as well as lifestyle and nightlife events, shall be held at hotels and resorts.
The Showdown Week will be aggressively marketed across the malls.
Also eyeing newer vistas of growth with expat engagement, Abu Dhabi will host it's first-ever T10 cricket League in November.
More shopping campaigns
At a community level, new shopping campaigns have been yielding positive benefits. Retail Abu Dhabi Spring Sales, a shopping event taking place at malls across the emirate, is just one of them.
A 47-day summer deal has recently concluded, which Nadia Rasheed, project manager of Retail Abu Dhabi, said has 'totally revitalised' the city.
"Such Spring Sales mean that residents and tourists, when they come here for summer, will get the best deals. They get to experience the best that the city has to offer. Retail Abu Dhabi brings together all the malls in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra.
"Retail Abu Dhabi will continue to have other campaigns throughout the year, which we hope both residents and tourists will support and enjoy," Rasheed told Khaleej Times.
The next Retail Abu Dhabi offer - 'Knockout Deals' - will start from August 15 to September 7. In line with the back-to-school period, it is set to provide shoppers with discounts starting from 25 per cent on various products.
A 'Shop & Win' promotion will qualify people who spend at least Dh200 for a city-wide raffle, giving them the chance to win a brand-new Mercedes-Benz A Class or C Class.
"There will be a host of promotions and activations in November, especially as the city comes alive with many international events like Adipec, T10 League, and Formula One, among others," Rasheed added.

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