Complex Made Simple

Why Chinese visitor nos are up 68% in UAE capital

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is leading a tourism delegation to Shanghai this month, as part of a new initiative to encourage even more visitors from China to explore the emirate.

China is currently the largest international source market for hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi, with more than 242,000 Chinese checking into the emirate’s’s 166 hotels and hotel apartments in the first eight months of this year, a year-on- year increase of 68 per cent.

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The delegation, under the banner of ‘Abu Dhabi Week in China’, will visit Shanghai, one of the world’s largest cities in terms of by population, comprising joined by representatives of national airline Etihad Airways, Yas Island, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “With our Chinese visitors being now granted visas at on arrival, since the beginning start of the year, simplifying the arrival process, we have are now witnessing ed a tremendous surge in the numbers of Chinese coming to the eemirate for both leisure and business. China has now overtaken India as our largest international source market and we are proactively seeking out new ventures and business partners to further encourage this growth.”

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Abu Dhabi is also working hard to develop a wide range of products and packages that meet
expectations of for Chinese travellers. Numerous tourist attractions have received the China Tourism Academy’s Welcome Chinese Certification, awarded to distinguished hospitality establishments and destinations that offer high-quality services to Chinese visitors, including Mandarin-speaking staff members. Multiple destinations and attractions in the emirate also now accept China Union Pay bank cards, making it easier for Chinese visitors to pay for goods and services.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President – Commercial, of Etihad Airways, said: “With the rapid development during the past decade of China-UAE bilateral trade, and the announcement by the Chinese government of the Belt & Road Initiatives, China has become a very important growth market for us.

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He continued, “Etihad Airways operates 28 flights per week between Abu Dhabi and the four major gateways to Greater China of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hong Kong, which provides seamless one-stop connections via the Abu Dhabi hub to over 48 business and leisure destinations across the Gulf region, Europe, Africa and North America,” adding, “The Beijing and Shanghai routes are serviced by the B787-9 Dreamliner, which offers travellers the highest level of luxury, comfort and service with the industry-leading, next-generation cabins.”

“It’s pleasing to see the continuing joint-investment in Chinese tourism by Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi attracting more and more visitors each year and developing economic benefits to tourism operators in both China and UAE.”

Leading Chinese tour operators including Uniway Shanghai, Upai, CITS Sage, CYTS ZQ, Ctrip and Tuniu will be joined by trade officials and media at Abu Dhabi Week in China for the event which starts on October 19.

As part of the new Abu Dhabi Week in China initiative, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will also be looking to bolster its digital presence across China by promoting its Weibo and Wechat channels, while developing and forming new business relationships to help promote the emirate.

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