Mumbai: Abu Dhabi, the capital and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is expecting more than 20 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals this year.
“India has been the number one source market for us globally and we have been witnessing a steady growth in tourists coming to Abu Dhabi from the sub-continent.
“We are already in the last month of 2016, and are confident of seeing over 20 per cent growth this year,” Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Country Manager, India, Bejan Dinshaw told PTI here.
Abu Dhabi saw 2.8 lakh Indian tourists checking into hotels in 2015.
With a large number of Indian expats living in Abu Dhabi, the actual number of visitors to the capital city is much more, he said.
The capital of UAE has already witnessed 2.36 lakh Indians staying in hotels and spending an average 3.2 nights till September this year, Dinshaw said.
After India, the other top tourist-generating markets for Abu Dhabi are Britain, China, Germany and France.
Indian are also among the top spenders in Abu Dhabi, he said.
“Indians love shopping and are the leading spenders in Abu Dhabi. To attract shoppers we celebrate ‘Summer Season’ (from June-September) during Ramzan, where many discounts and other schemes are offered,” the official said.
Abu Dhabi, placing itself as an affordable luxurious destination for Indians, is mainly targeting segments like wedding, honeymoons, family, single travellers and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
With good connectivity – 250 flights a week connecting 15 Indian cities directly with Abu Dhabi – India will continue to remain a major source of holiday-makers coming to the city, he said.
“For this purpose we are bullish on roadshows and joint marketing promotions (JMPs) with travel companies and local travel agents in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities.
“We aim to make Abu Dhabi the first choice of destination for Indians looking for long weekends and short breaks. And proximity and good connectivity gives Abu Dhabi an edge in this regard,” Dinshaw added.