Moscow’s Hermitage Garden hosts Abu Dhabi festival

Aiming to spread awareness of the emirate’s offering, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s (TCA Abu Dhabi) Russian and CIS office recently organised a festival devoted to Emirati culture and traditions at Moscow’s Hermitage Garden.

Running for a single day, the Hermitage Garden embraces Emirati aromas, coffee and spices, the sound of the Arabic oud and traditional dancers. Guests enjoyed cultural workshops, lectures and mini-F1 competitions to win valuable prizes. Adding to this, an authentic Arabian bazaar and food market granted guests a glimpse into the amazing products and tastes available in Abu Dhabi, while falconry, camel riding and live concerts kept them entertained.

The festival was supported by national carrier Etihad Airways, Yas Marina Circuit, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan, Yas Island Rotana, AVIS, Space Travel, Coral Travel, Hot tours and others. It enticed 33,000 guests who picked up more than 15,000 brochures and 30,000 leaflets from the Abu Dhabi pavilion.

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Director promotions and overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, Mubarak Al Nuaimi enthused: “This is the first time we have recreated authentic Abu Dhabi experiences within the heart of Moscow aimed at sharing Abu Dhabi’s highlights to retain our market share during a period of flux for the outbound travel market and inspire growth from our Russian visitors.

“In addition to the exceptional crowds, the festival fueled hype and significant social media interest, so much so that we will consider making the festival an annual event,” he added.

Throughout the first seven months of 2015, Abu Dhabi welcomed 15,445 guests, generating 68,778 guest nights.

Al Nuaimi noted: “Despite a year-on-year drop of 10 per cent in visitor numbers, our Russian guests stay on average 4.45 nights, well ahead of the industry average of 2.7 nights, underlining the importance of the market to our partners. Given the response to this initiative, we are inspired to fulfil our creative promotional campaigns and deliver a programme of marketing activities to unlock the potential of these exciting Russian and CIS markets.”