In an exclusive interview, Abdulla Yousuf, Director, International Operations, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, sheds light on the success of the Indian market and the experiences awaiting Indian tourists.
Abu Dhabi has seen a significant surge in Indian tourists in recent years. What factors contribute to the success of the Indian market in Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry?
India holds a special place in Abu Dhabi’s tourism landscape. It is one of the largest source markets for both leisure and M!CE travel. We have been witnessing a strong rebound in tourism from India, with a remarkable uplift of 96 per cent in Indian international visitors staying in Abu Dhabi in 2022. This growth can be attributed to various factors such as increased connectivity, fostering relationships in tier-II India markets, and our annual India Roadshow, which offers industry professionals the opportunity to learn about the unique and diverse experiences Abu Dhabi has to offer.
Can you tell us more about the increased connectivity between India and Abu Dhabi?
Absolutely! We are delighted to have major carriers providing direct flights between India and Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways started a daily flight service to Kolkata, while Air Arabia launched direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Cochin, and Mumbai. Indigo also introduced direct daily flights from Hyderabad and Chennai to Abu Dhabi, and Vistara Airlines commenced daily flights between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi. These enhanced flight options have improved connectivity and provided a more seamless travel experience for Indian visitors.
Abu Dhabi recently announced Ranveer Singh as the destination ambassador. How does this partnership contribute to Abu Dhabi’s tourism promotion?
We are thrilled to have Ranveer Singh as our official destination ambassador. Ranveer is known for his versatility and ability to inspire fans worldwide. His diverse personality and constant experimentation with new things align perfectly with the diverse offerings of Abu Dhabi. Ranveer commenced his role by starring in our new summer campaign film, “One Summer Isn’t Enough”, where he explores Abu Dhabi’s cultural hotspots. During the two-year partnership, Ranveer will share his holiday highlights, inviting Indian travellers to find their pace in Abu Dhabi and enjoy everything the destination has to offer.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is creating a buzz in the market. Can you give us more on its progress?
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public on 23 May 2023. This next-generation Marine Life Theme Park will be home to the world’s largest and most expansive multi-species marine-life aquarium, along with world-class rides, attractions, and immersive experiences. Through its eight immersive realms, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi tells a captivating One Ocean story based on the interconnectivity of all life on Earth and in our ocean. With more than 150 species of marine animals, including sharks, schools of fish, rays, sea turtles, and hundreds of birds, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi promises an unforgettable journey for visitors of all ages.
Do you have any message for the Indian travellers considering Abu Dhabi as their next destination?
Abu Dhabi welcomes Indian travellers with open arms. Whether you are seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or relaxation, Abu Dhabi offers something for everyone. We invite you to explore our vibrant city, indulge in our diverse cuisines, experience thrilling attractions, and discover our rich heritage and culture. With the launch of our new summer campaign, “One Summer Isn’t Enough”, we encourage you to embark on an unforgettable journey and make lasting memories in Abu Dhabi. We look forward to welcoming you and providing you with a truly exceptional experience.