Complex Made Simple

Abu Dhabi business tourism targets Spanish market

MICE entities set to entice visitors to Emirate in Barcelona

Leading business tourism entities in Abu Dhabi have joined Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) at the European Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (IBTM World) trade show in Barcelona, Spain, to raise awareness of the services and products they offer, and to promote the emirate for business-focussed visitors.

Sixteeen participants have signed up to join the Abu Dhabi pavilion at IBTM World (previously called EIBTM), the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and the business travel industry, which expects to attract more than 15,000 MICE industry professionals to the three day event from November 17-19.

The pavilion is the biggest ever deployed at the event by TCA Abu Dhabi, and will include for the first time a representative from Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, TCA Abu Dhabi Cruise, Al Burj Travel & Tours and the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel.

Also joining the delegation will be the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), The Vision Destination Management company, 1001 Events, SNTTA Emir Tours & Travel LLC and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management as well as high-end hotel chains including the InterContinental Abu Dhabi, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and Al Raha Beach Hotel, and the booth will also boast an Arabic calligrapher.

“The variety of exhibitors this year is highly significant as it is a reflection of just how much the destination is growing in terms of choice for meetings and events planners,” said to Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, a division of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). “With 2014’s total of 14,640 guest arrivals from Spain, this represented an increase year-on year of 14% on 2013, and in the first six months of this year we have seen the numbers of Spanish visitors to the emirate well on target to reach double-digit growth once more,” added Al Shamisi.

Highlighting its business-focussed provisions at the Abu Dhabi pavilion for the very first time in Barcelona will be the five-star Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, with Senior Business Development Executive Salma Cherami, enthusiastic about participating in this month’s event.

“Our target for 2016/17 season is to increase 50 per cent to 60 per cent for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions sector,” said Cherami. “We are very excited to be involved in IBTM World with TCA Abu Dhabi, as we are looking to attract even more business from the European market. To achieve this we believe we have a wonderful property which boasts unique and authentic Arabic hospitality mixed with an atmosphere of culture and heritage, offering luxurious accommodation in classic style with modern touches. We will be emphasising our outstanding selection of traditional Arabic amenities, our variety of fine restaurants but most importantly a large choice of halls and rooms suitable for conferences which include all the latest equipment,” she added.

Also returning to the Abu Dhabi pavilion for this event will be a representative from InterContinental Abu Dhabi, and Director of Sales & Marketing from the property, Fady Atwan, was also looking forward to a positive outcome from their participation.

“We are aiming to increase and drive more MICE and Corporate business from Spain, and also the EU in general,” said Atwan. “So we are very excited about our participation in IBTM World with TCA Abu Dhabi. The EU/Spain market is huge and has a great number of potential clients for us in the Incentive, Meetings and Conferences arena. We are expecting to increase existing business and generate a fair market share with some new clients,” he added.

IBTM World expects to attract more than 3,100 exhibitors to the three-day event in the award winning business and tourism destination of Fira, Barcelona.