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ABU DHABI & AL AIN: Galvanising Interest (Part 3)

The progress made by TCA Abu Dhabi is unequivocal, with a broad range of incentives to boost all sectors of tourism, including MICE.

In particular, Advantage Abu Dhabi, an Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau programme, is seen as a catalyst in bolstering the emirate’s MICE segment by adding bespoke destination support to business event organisers as well as stimulating business for local suppliers and enhancing the overall experience for delegates.

“TCA Abu Dhabi has done a wonderful job exposing our destination opportunities to the MICE buyers and influencers, especially within key target markets such as China, India and Eastern Europe,” enthused van Alphen.

Testament to this, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi has worked alongside TCA Abu Dhabi, with the aim of utilising every possible opportunity to showcase both the property and the city, especially in regards to familiarisation trips.

Taking advantage of TCA Abu Dhabi’s activity across the world and success in showcasing its product, Maifi noted that Mecure Abu Dhabi Centre Hotel has worked closely with the organisation, following its guidelines and participating in numerous exhibitions under its umbrella.

Acknowledging the importance of maintaining ties with ADNEC, exhibitors and event organisers, Tannous said, “We see them as our long drawn partners for success.

” He added that through such collaborations, the hotels have been able to truly grasp what different visitors look for.

Tannous further outlined that both Centro Capital Centre and Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana offer various tailor made packages as part of the group’s Business Escapes initiative, which provides guests ample opportunity to unwind after a busy day on the MICE circuit.

Moreover, each property features a dedicated team to plan and execute the event from start to finish.

Similarly, in an effort to entice MICE organisers to the property, Mahy Noor, events manager, Bab Al Qasr, explained that the address offers complimentary rooms for every 25 paid room nights per night along with room upgrades and commission on room rates as well as food and beverage spend.

ADAPTING TO CHANGE

Confident that the market will return to healthy levels once the global economy stabilises, van Alphen concluded that this moment in time is nothing other than an opportunity to push and expose the capital for future MICE as well as the chance to think differently and seek business in new areas.

Mentioning the need for unique concept events that provide global solutions, Tannous agreed, “Stakeholders in the hospitality industry need to align their strategy with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to focus on attracting a wide pool of business travellers to the emirate.”

While the addition of rooms is putting pressure on hoteliers, it is also stimulating the industry.

Lance summarised, “The number of full service and international branded hotels coming into the marketplace has also made Abu Dhabi more attractive as a MICE destination.”

He continued to say that this, and competitive rates are the two decisive factors for MICE buyers.

Vaubell expounded that the boost in hotel rooms will enable the capital to host much larger city-wide events, indicating what the future will hold for Abu Dhabi.

Even with the spectacular transformation seen in the hospitality industry in the past decade, Lance elucidated, “Abu Dhabi is still in an awareness phase, similar to where Dubai was 10 – 12 years ago.”

However, this leaves plenty of room for growth.

Explaining that TCA Abu Dhabi is on a mission to enhance its tourism product with Etihad Airways as an invaluable and strategic partner, Lance predicted, “Abu Dhabi will soon be not only the fastest growing MICE destination in the region, but on a global scale.”