With the worldwide hospitality neighborhood nonetheless reeling from the impression of Covid-19, locations all over the world have been on the lookout for progressive methods to maintain themselves within the minds of travellers forward of borders reopening.
Whereas the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, stays closed to worldwide friends, that has not meant officers on the native tourism board have been sitting on their fingers.
As a substitute, the Division of Tradition & Tourism has labored to leverage present relationships to maintain the emirate within the public eye.
There was a give attention to sport, with the Center Jap vacation spot welcoming an outsized roster of top-level occasions.
As Saeed Al Saeed, vacation spot advertising supervisor with the Division of Tradition & Tourism in Abu Dhabi, tells Breaking Journey Information editor Chris O’Toole there have been alternatives even amid the ruins of the pandemic.
“By way of sport, we’re open for enterprise – and we’ve made that clear,” he explains.
“It isn’t about us gathering as many sports activities as we are able to and dumping them into the emirate, it’s extra about cultivating long-term partnerships, permitting us to showcase the lengths we’ll go to as a way to welcome the very best occasions.”
Maybe essentially the most eyebrow-raising showcase was Fight Island, an Final Preventing Championship pay-per-view that befell in July this yr.
Extra generally related to cities like Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi pulled out all of the stops to create a bio-secure occasion on the top of the Covid-19 shutdown.
“The UFC, for instance, is a five-year deal we signed in 2019, however that relationship allowed us so as to add Battle Island as an additional collaboration,” continues Al Saeed.
“I used to be a part of the Battle Island staff personally, and we spent two weeks quarantined within the resort earlier than anyone from UFC even arrived within the vacation spot.
“We spent 5 weeks within the bubble total – an immense effort on behalf of plenty of entities to make it a actuality.
“There have been different sporting bubbles all over the world, however I’m not positive anyone has gone to the extent we did – we carried out 18,000 Covid-19 checks on simply over 2,000 people.
“However the advantage of internet hosting such main occasions are evident – all people was speaking about Battle Island, which was clearly intently linked to Abu Dhabi.
“We have been capable of ship a sign, throughout the sporting world, with different governing our bodies now approaching us right here on the Division of Tradition & Tourism and over on the Abu Dhabi Sports activities Council with a view to internet hosting different occasions.
“The remainder of the world remains to be struggling to work out how one can convey sports activities again to life, and we now have some nice experience on this space.
“It put us on the map in the case of world-class sports activities inside world-class services.”
Dana White praised the organisation behind Battle Island
By way of advertising, the worth of the occasion additionally can’t be underestimated, drawing in new audiences from all over the world and making individuals conscious of Abu Dhabi maybe even for the primary time.
“It gave us an opportunity to showcase ourselves to an American viewers – there’s typically plenty of misunderstanding there and we have been capable of start to appropriate some misapprehension,” says Al Saeed.
“However there’s additionally an enormous following for UFC is Brazil, in Russia – plenty of markets observe their very own fighters, by way of social media and pay-per-view occasions.
“This has helped us to nullify some preconceived misconceptions about Abu Dhabi and the area extra typically.
“So much folks that got here right here for the primary time have been anticipating one thing utterly completely different, and ended up falling in love.”
Followers are holding out hope they are able to attend the F1 finale
After all, for a lot of Abu Dhabi is synonymous with the end-of-season F1 Grand Prix, which takes place within the emirate each November.
In regular occasions the race is the centrepiece of a weekend-long extravaganza, welcoming headline musical acts, hundreds of friends and celebrities from all over the world to the emirate.
Issues will probably be on a smaller scale this yr, however the race will nonetheless provide alternatives to advertise the vacation spot.
“Because it stands, we’ve no plans for spectators on the F1 Grand Prix – there are all the time conversations, however we aren’t ready to welcome them but,” stated Al Saeed.
“The occasion is a city-wide celebration for us, a celebration of many various pillars of our tourism providing, so having to chop that again this yr is a missed alternative for us.
“We lose the sporting aspect, but in addition the nightlife, the occasions.”
Nonetheless, with greater than three months to go till the race, closing plans are nonetheless being put in place.
Abu Dhabi will welcome the Indian Premier League later this month
Within the meantime, the United Arab Emirates will host the Indian Premier League, an annual sporting competitors to rival any on earth.
Happening throughout Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, the occasion will welcome the very best cricketers to the vacation spot, drawing an viewers of thousands and thousands from India, Pakistan and different markets.
With the gamers at present settling into their luxury hotels, Al Saeed tells Breaking Journey Information the fast-paced motion will provide loads to spectators.
“Battle Island was one of many elements which allowed us to convey the Indian Premier League to Abu Dhabi, we performed a small position, however there was a long-established relationship there which helped.
“They knew that we have been capable of provide what they want throughout this pandemic.”
He continues: “It is a large occasion, world-class athletes from throughout the globe, from Australia, South Africa, England, in addition to India and Pakistan – the eyes of the world will probably be on the United Arab Emirates.
“We anticipate that individuals will as soon as once more be capable of see what we provide, how the gamers are being handled, and provides them extra confidence within the vacation spot.
“Quite a lot of followers are going to be actually excited concerning the occasion, there’s a lot on provide.
“Each fan of each sport is hungry for occasions to come back again, and we’re ready to supply that for them, and it’s a second of satisfaction for us.”
Visitors wooed by the top-class sporting showcase will, nonetheless, have to attend till the borders of Abu Dhabi reopen earlier than they’ll go to.
Whereas neighbouring Dubai has reopened, officers within the capital are taking a extra cautious strategy.
“We do have plans to have a look at the following part, to open the borders, with the related measures in place – however there isn’t a date for this as of but.
“The measures could seem excessive, however the well being and security of our individuals should come first,” concludes Al Saeed.
The Division of Tradition & Tourism – Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and tradition of the emirate and leverages them within the improvement of a world-class, sustainable vacation spot of distinction, which enriches the lives of holiday makers and residents alike.
The organisation manages the tourism sector and markets the vacation spot internationally by way of a variety of actions aimed toward attracting guests and funding.
Discover out extra about visiting, when the time is correct, on the official website.