Abu Dhabi targets 24 million tourists for 2023
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Abu Dhabi targets 24 million tourists for 2023

Abu Dhabi targets 24 million tourists for 2023

Abu Dhabi plans to build on its destination offering for international tourists from cultural and heritage venues to state-of-the-art theme parks

Gulf Business
abu dhabi tourism

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has outlined its roadmap for 2023 following a strong performance the previous year.

Abu Dhabi said it plans to increase overall visitation to more than 24 million, from 18 million in 2022, as per a report published by Abu Dhabi Media Office.

Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “With culture at the heart of everything we do, we have set bold and ambitious targets for 2023 as we promote, protect and progress Abu Dhabi and share it with the world. We are proud to share some of our 2022 results, which powerfully demonstrate how we re-ignited the engine of growth through resilient culture and tourism sectors, with visionary leadership and key partnerships across the different creative industries.

Showcasing cultural heritage

DCT Abu Dhabi attributed a huge percentage of international visitors, almost half (47 per cent), who visited the UAE, came in to explore the country’s culture. With the rise of the culture-seeker segment, about four million visitors are expected at DCT Abu Dhabi’s cultural sites this year – more than one million additional visitors compared to 2022.

Al Hosani added, “We are creating new job and career opportunities and enabling growth across the culture sector throughout the culture and creative industries while enabling business and leisure tourism to thrive. Our purpose is to share Abu Dhabi with the world and enrich lives.”

DCT Abu Dhabi also promotes the Arabic language, with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) promoting Arabic proficiency among the UAE community, while supporting the growth of the Arabic publishing industry through key projects like Kalima and Isdarat.

Al Hosani said, “We are proud to continue the development of key museums for Abu Dhabi, such as Zayed National Museum, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Museum, while also hosting cultural events such as the upcoming Culture Summit Abu Dhabi later this year. In this sixth edition we will once again convene leaders from the field of arts, heritage, media, museums, public policy and technology – identifying ways in which culture can transform societies and communities worldwide.”

In its annual report, DCT Abu Dhabi revealed that visitor figures in 2022 had continued to grow and the emirate had achieved a 17 per cent growth in international tourists year-on-year. The report also listed the three most-visited venues managed by DCT Abu Dhabi as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Cultural Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn.

The department was also successful in listing two new Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements into the UNESCO ICH lists which include Alheda’a, the ancient art of camel calling, and the date palm.

Business travellers

Abu Dhabi welcomed 603,000 MICE (Meeting, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions) visitors and hosted 1,210 MICE events in 2022, showcasing its exhibition venues, hotels and supporting facilities.

DCT Abu Dhabi stated that both – leisure and MICE visitation numbers had helped hotels achieve occupancy rates above 70 per cent for 2022. That included a 24 per cent increase in overnight hotel guests compared with 2021, with the average length-of-stay per visitor was three nights, resulting in a significant 18 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue per available room, compared to 2022.

DCT Abu Dhabi said it will continue to work closely with Miral, Etihad Airways, ADNEC and other partners to attract more events and exhibitors to the emirate. It added that Abu Dhabi was recently named the top Middle East City for Association Meetings by the International Congress and Convention Association.

Adventure and theme parks

In order to reach its target of more than 24 million visitors in 2023, DCT Abu Dhabi said it will continue to build on its destination offering such as SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Pixoul Gaming, Adrenark Adventure and Snow Abu Dhabi.

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