The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) recently conducted a two-day fact finding mission. The mission explored the UNESCO world heritage inscription, deep-rooted cultural experiences and the natural environment of Al Ain.
Around 15 destination management companies and cruise excursion operators operating within UAE, singled out opportunities to develop tours and experiences around the emirate. The tours would focus on Al Ain’s natural landscape, historic significance and cultural origins.
“Diversity of product and an ever-increasing range of creative industry packaging based around the city’s historic and world heritage site attractions is essential to maximise tourism’s contribution to Al Ain’s economic diversification,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi.
The operators from Abu Dhabi and Dubai also explored the Al Ain and Al Qattara oases, delved into the remains of an Iron Age settlement. Roy Michael, field manager for Hala Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways’ DMC arm, said the city has much to recommend itself to tourists.
Al Ain’s geography and natural environment are also strong selling points according to Mustafa Volkan Lena, tour guide and team manager for Dubai-based Arabian Adventures. Al Ain currently has 16 hotels with a joint complement of 2,016 rooms. In the first five months of this year some 147,386 visitors checked into Al Ain’s hotels – a 15% increase on the same period last year. The visitors accounted for 297,960 guest nights – which was up 16% year-on-year – with an average stay of two nights.