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03 March 2024

Capital expects to receive 1.5 million tourists this year


By Abdel Hai Mohamad

Tourism in Abu Dhabi has not been impacted by the global crisis, a senior official in Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said.

"ADTA expects that Abu Dhabi will receive in 2009 a total of 1.5 million tourists. This figure is close to last year's figure," Mubarak Al Muhairi, ADTA's Director General, told Emirates Business on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Economic Forum.

"We in Abu Dhabi were not affected by the international financial crisis. Any of our giant tourism projects did not stop. In addition, all our projects which were already announced are ongoing and the government regularly spends on tourism. There is no delay in the finance of the projects.

"Top projects which ADTA will benefit from are being executed very quickly. For example, Abu Dhabi's expansion is going on quickly. Besides, Etihad Airways is expanding its tourism destinations and fleet and Aldar seriously attempts to finish Yas Island project on time in preparation for hosting Formula 1. Work in Saadiyat Island is going on and there is no delay in the execution of its museums and landmarks," said Al Muhairi.

He added Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (Adnec) plays a big role in raising the number of Abu Dhabi's visitors. Adnec's visitors since its opening around two years ago top two million. It is equipped with start-of-the-art equipment to be the region's biggest exhibition centre.

"World should have a positive outlook on Abu Dhabi, because its future is very promising despite of the international financial crisis."

"It is untrue that hotels are witnessing a decrease in the number of foreign visitors. On the contrary, occupancy rates are still high and we attempt to add 23,000 hotel rooms in 2012. The new top hotel projects in Abu Dhabi continue without dela," Al Muhairi said.

World Tourism Organisation's report on the growth rate of tourism sector at the world level says that the sector's global growth rate ranges between five and six per cent, while the growth rate in the Middle East ranges between 10 and 12 per cent.