Tourism destination taking shape off capital’s coastline

ABU DHABI — A unique exhibition showcasing the Desert Islands — the multi-experience tourism destination taking shape off Abu Dhabi’s western coastline — is currently under way at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 12 Jul 2007, 9:04 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:07 AM

The Desert Islands will consist of eight islands, including the Sir Bani Yas eco-resort, the former environmental showcase of late Shaikh Zayed, and an onshore gate.

The exhibition focuses on the significant career opportunities the destination is expected to generate for Emiratis. It features the destination’s master plan, inspirational images and project models.

“We expect the destination to create around 6,500 job openings by the time it is fully operational in 2017 – a forecast which falls totally in line with our economic diversification mandate from the Abu Dhabi government and the directions of both President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” said Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), which manages ADTA’s tourism assets.

“The career opportunities will cover a range of disciplines including marine conservation, renewable energy research, destination management and eco-preservation,” he pointed out. “We hope young Emiratis will seize the opportunity of studying the project thoroughly while residents and visitors get a glimpse of our future standing on the international tourism scene,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director-General of ADTA and Managing Director of TDIC.

TDIC anticipates the destination will attract around 250,000 visitors when the first phase is completed in 2010, rising to over a million a year.

The Desert Islands will provide a multitude of experiences encompassing a nature reserve, a cultural destination and a showcase for world-class environmental, conservation and ecological tourism, including the Arabian National Park .

In addition to the former royal nature reserve of Sir Bani Yas Island, it will also comprise Dalma Island and the Discovery Islands — six nearby offshore outcrops - all of which will be linked by a ferry and hydrofoil service, water taxis and private ‘resort’ boat service.

The Desert Islands exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 10pm daily till the end of August.

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