In 2019, according to the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, the capital emirate welcomed 11.35 million international visitors, a 10.5 per cent year-on-year increase.
Of these, 2.83 million stayed in the emirate overnight, while 8.53 million were same-day visitors
While there are plenty of entertainment activities and places to visit in Abu Dhabi including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World, almost all of them are currently off-limits as the UAE government has asked all its residents to remain at home by way of its StayHome campaign to reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
However, that doesn’t stop you from taking part in a virtual tour of another highlight of the emirate – the Sir Bani Yas Island – in a film produced by the DCT under its Visit Abu Dhabi initiative.
The 60-second video includes dramatic sweeping aerial footage of the 41-square-kilometre park.
In the video, an activity supervisor, Mark, explains how guests who tour this park can see varied fauna including sand gazelles, Arabian Oryx, cheetahs and giraffes.
It shows footage of guests undertaking hiking tours as well.
The park was awarded the World’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination 2019 by the World Travel Awards body for its conservation efforts which include the plantation of three million trees by the park’s authorities.
While you’ll have to visit the park virtually as of now by way of the video above, once the stay-at-home movement restrictions are lifted, you’ll find plenty of reasons to visit.
In July 2019, DCT announced a new Dhs600m fund to boost leisure and business activities in Abu Dhabi.
The economic yield of this new fund is pegged at Dhs1.6bn by way of increased overseas visitors and enhanced business activities around the entertainment sector, part of the ‘Ghadan 21’ programme designed to boost Abu Dhabi’s economy.