The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) kicked off 2020 with an Industry Development Meeting (IDM), which took place on January 7 and was attended by key representatives from Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry.
During the meeting, Q4, 2019 trends and developments relating to tourism in Abu Dhabi were highlighted, while the agenda included presentations on the latest statistical data; details about how DCT Abu Dhabi is building future demand through collaborations; and updates and information on the latest strategic projects and the approaching Expo 2020 Dubai.
The meeting was attended by DCT Abu Dhabi staff, key stakeholders including ADNEC and Experience Hub, and senior representatives from hotel groups such as Emirates Palace, Anantara, Marriott, Fairmont, Jumeirah, Millennium & Copthorne, Rosewood, Radisson, Four Seasons, St Regis, Sofitel and Le Meridien.
Acting executive director of tourism and marketing, DCT Abu Dhabi, Ali Hassan Al Shaiba said: “This IDM meeting took place at an extremely important juncture in the growth of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry. After a successful 2019, in which we have seen positive indicators in all our performance metrics, including numbers of visitors and hotel guests, the meeting was great opportunity to meet with all our key partners and stakeholders to thank them for their part in our shared success, as well as to outline the exciting prospects for the year ahead.
“While it has been a successful year, there have undoubtedly been challenges in the market, meaning the IDM is a crucial forum to discuss our key strategies and initiatives through face-to-face dialogue so we can share collaborative ideas, disseminate key messages, and ensure we are all working together to deliver excellence throughout our destination,” Al Shaiba added.
During the meeting, Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry growth in Q4, 2019 was highlighted. During the last quarter, 4.7 million guests were recorded and Abu Dhabi’s hotels posted the highest ever figure for Year-To-Date (YTD) guests numbers. Compared to other key destinations in the MENA region, Abu Dhabi also had amongst the highest YTD RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) growth at eight per cent. Other statistics highlighted how Indian and Chinese nationals were amongst the top three non-UAE nationalities in the Abu Dhabi Island, ADNEC and Yas Island zones, while the Saadiyat Island zone witnessed a higher influx of European nationalities.
Details of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Tactical Summer Campaign to boost footfall during the traditionally quiet summer months were also discussed. The agenda then covered the launch of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau’s China-MICE Advisory Committee – the first ever dedicated committee in China which aims to tap into the ever-growing Chinese MICE market by engaging with high level key players.
Following this, attendees were granted an update on DCT Abu Dhabi’s key strategic projects. Abu Dhabi Events Bureau unveiled its packed calendar of events that are expected to take place in 2020, while the return of popular events from previous years, including the Mother of the Nation Festival and the themed ‘Abu Dhabi Weeks’ initiatives, was also touched upon.
Finally, DCT Abu Dhabi’s strategies for broadening its source markets and footprint were discussed, as well as further expansion plans in 2020 and Dubai Expo 2020.