Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) have joined forces to further attract global sporting events to the UAE capital.
The airline has inked a three-year deal with ADSC to support sports activities and major sporting events in Abu Dhabi. This strategic move replaces an event-by-event approach and contributes to a longer term vision for sports in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
Senior vice president, corporate and international affairs, Etihad Airways, Hareb Almuhairy, explained: “This agreement cements our work together to promote Abu Dhabi as an outstanding destination for major international sporting events. These events bring considerable economic benefits, provide excellent opportunities for resident and visiting sports fans and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Under the new partnership, approximately 15 events are expected to take place. These include January’s annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and this month’s professional cycling race, the Abu Dhabi Tour. It is anticipated that numerous events will be jointly supported as new sports initiatives are attracted to the emirate.
General secretary, ADSC, HE Aref Al Awani noted: “This deal represents a more structured and long-term approach to delivering on our vision of evolving Abu Dhabi into an international destination for sport, competitiveness and international events. Etihad Airways will bring to the table considerable marketing clout which will further build local, regional and global awareness of our headline events.”
The newly announced partnership will see Etihad Airways make use of its marketing channels to promote major sporting events that are taking place within the emirate. The agreement also paves the way for special athlete appearances, guest experiences and community engagement activities.
“The positive impact of major sports events on tourism is well documented, with benefits such as airline passenger traffic, hotel stays and visitor spend,” said Almuhairy.
“At the same time, we are always looking for ways to connect and inspire our guests. Sport provides a wonderful platform to do this,” he added.
Other sporting events which come under the new partnership include FINA 10k Open Water World Championship, the FINA High-Dive World Cup, Emirates Football Forum and the FIBA Basketball 3 x 3 World Championship.