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Seven million passengers last year made their way through Abu Dhabi International Airport, an increase of three million in five years, according to a senior official from the tourism authority.
Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (Adta), released the figures during the Middle East Aviation Outlook Summit, which is being held in Abu Dhabi this week.
“Over a five-year period, from 2003 to 2007, Abu Dhabi International Airport witnessed growth in passenger volume from four million to seven million. Our national carrier Etihad Airways has increased its international network since its launch in 2003 from three cities to 45 cities, with passenger volumes rising more than 10-fold, from 340,000 in 2004 to 4.5 million in 2007,” Al Muhairi said.
Elaborating on the synergies between the tourism and aviation sectors, he said a liberal air services regime can help to realise a destination’s tourism goals, product development and promotional objectives.
He said the strategic plans of both Adta and Abu Dhabi Airports Company will continue to be aligned to transform Abu Dhabi into a “best class” destination and aviation hub.
“On the destination development front, the next decade will bear witness to the transformation of Abu Dhabi’s tourism landscape. I am pleased to add that in our endeavours to deliver enriching experiences for each and every one of the three million visitors we are targeting to achieve by 2015, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority will use sustainability, preservation and conservation as our key development codes.”
So far the strategy seems to be working as the number of guests in hotels in the emirate last year reached 1.45 million as compared to around 1.3 million in 2006, according to Al Muhairi.
“We welcomed 1,450,000 guests in Abu Dhabi last year. The number was higher than that of 2006, when it was roughly 1.3 million.”
Al Muhairi also said no new regulatory changes are likely this year, as the tourism sector has already been streamlined with the implementation of several regulations.
“We have made things easier. Licensing is carried out online, which is easier now. Tour operators and travel agents can renew their licences in 10 minutes. So it is much easier now. Abu Dhabi has simplified all the procedures and regulations,” he said.
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