Yas, Saadiyat Islands enhance Abu Dhabi's leading position on world's best tourist destinations

Very few global destinations offer integrated packages of entertainment experiences


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Published: Wed 8 May 2024, 9:28 PM

Liam Findlay, CEO of Miral Destinations, a subsidiary of Miral and the operational partner for Yas Island and Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, affirmed that Yas and Saadiyat Islands are enhancing Abu Dhabi's leading position on the world's best tourist destinations list.

Findlay stated to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai that Miral Destinations' goal seven years ago was for Yas Island to be among the top ten tourist destinations globally, noting that "after adding several global cities and entertainment facilities, such as Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, we have become one of the world's best tourist destinations, providing a comprehensive range of entertainment tourism experiences."

He pointed out that very few global destinations offer integrated packages of entertainment experiences like those provided by Yas and Saadiyat Islands in Abu Dhabi, highlighting that Yas Island has witnessed significant developments and major additions over the past few years, making it one of the leading integrated global tourism and entertainment destinations.

He emphasised that Yas Island's central location between Abu Dhabi and Dubai makes it an ideal destination to capitalise on the prestigious status of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the world tourism map, in addition to the large numbers of tourists they receive, along with the significant support the island receives from airlines in the country such as Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline, as well as the large number of visitors it attracts.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic presented a significant opportunity to develop their operations on Yas Island. While many institutions reduced their workforce during the long periods of closure worldwide, they looked to the future with optimism on Yas Island and made great efforts to prepare and develop promotional and marketing campaigns, enabling a strong comeback after the pandemic.

The CEO of Miral Destinations mentioned that India is one of the strong markets exporting tourists to Yas Island, noting that the recently launched campaigns have achieved wide success and contributed to an increase in the number of tourists coming from the Indian market.

Findlay pointed out that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are considered the second-largest source markets for tourists, with Yas Island being the preferred destination for many tourists coming from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to spend their summer vacations. This highlights Yas Island's position as an ideal destination that offers guests a wide range of options and various entertainment and cultural experiences.

He noted that last year witnessed a significant increase in the number of visitors to Yas Island, reaching 125 percent from the GCC countries compared to 2022.

Responding to a question about the role of Yas and Saadiyat Islands in the development of the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi, Findlay said, "The importance of Yas Island is highlighted by the integrated entertainment, tourism, and cultural experiences it offers, while Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is one of the important key destinations complementing the offerings provided by Yas Island with its unique picturesque nature, charming beaches, rich wildlife, and cultural experiences."

He explained that Saadiyat Island witnessed a growth of 44 percent in the number of visitors during the past year and received over 38 awards, including the title of Best Beach in the Middle East by the World Travel Awards for the twelfth consecutive year.

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