HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba presents an ambitious 10-year concept at ITB Berlin NOW
It is something that many countries can only dream of: over fifty per cent of the population of Abu Dhabi have already received a Covid 19 vaccination, and among those working in the hospitality sector the figure is between seventy and eighty per cent. Even before the pandemic the capital of the United Arab Emirates had been classified as the world’s safest city by Numbeo, the world’s leading compiler of data about cities and countries, and has already made a new start as a tourism destination. During the pandemic it has also used the time to draw up a tourism development plan for the period up to 2030.
HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism, made use of the ITB Berlin NOW to outline the main features. Accordingly the Emirate will be placing a greater emphasis on cultural and MICE tourism, as well as introducing a more general diversification of its tourism offer. Just like the high-rise buildings, tourism figures are shooting upwards. The Emirate attracted eleven million international visitors in 2019, and plans to more than double this figure by 2030 to a remarkable 23 million.
According to HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, there will be a particular focus on the entertainment sector over the coming years. For example, the world’s first Warner Bros. themed hotel will be opening in the city, the largest aquarium in the Middle East will be created in Al Qana and, as an additional attraction, the city is planning an 11,660 square metres snow park, the largest indoor snow park anywhere in the world. “We can offer a very diverse range of attractions and I can assure you three days is not enough for a visit to Abu Dhabi", HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba maintains.