Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism join forces


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Etihad Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), and also with Miral Asset Management (Miral), which oversees the development and management of a range of hospitality, sports, entertainment, retail and leisure destinations on Yas Island. The two MOUs will cement stronger ties between the three parties, and promote the global appeal of Abu Dhabi as a year-round tourist, business and cultural destination.

The signing ceremony, which took place at the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island, was attended by senior management and board members from Etihad Airways, TCA Abu Dhabi and Miral.

The exclusive partnership will see the three parties drive the growth of inbound destination and stopover tourism to Abu Dhabi by joining forces on various strategic activities including co-branded marketing and communication, market intelligence and data exchange, cruise industry support, loyalty and affinity programmes, and  business and leisure events within the Emirate and around the world.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Today we sign our joint commitment to make Abu Dhabi the best destination brand in the world. This unique and important partnership between the national airline, TCA Abu Dhabi and Miral will boost Abu Dhabi’s image exponentially.

“As the national airline, we continue to foster mutually beneficial relationships with the leading drivers of growth and progress in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE. In the 12 short years since Etihad Airways was launched, both the airline and the Emirate have witnessed a spectacular transformation and are now leaders in service and hospitality. The growth of Etihad Airways is inextricably linked to the continued success of Abu Dhabi as a destination on the world stage.”

Etihad Airways will coordinate more closely with TCA Abu Dhabi across a range of disciplines and targeted B2B and B2C programmes, and will continue to grow the established and successful ‘Essential Abu Dhabi’, ‘Abu Dhabi Now’ and ‘Access Abu Dhabi’ trade and consumer programmes, the latter being an integrated destination management campaign focused on key tour operators and online travel agencies, providing incentives for management and familiarisation trips.

Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said: “Abu Dhabi’s diversity of experiences, landscapes and deep-rooted heritage combine to create a compelling visitor experience which has established the destination as a world-leading and progressive tourism, sporting and cultural hub. 2016 will see many more guests coming to our warm and welcoming home, and enjoying all the exciting vacation and business opportunities it has to offer.

“TCA Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways are once again joining forces with common objectives to promote the Emirate, and to continue to enhance its word-class tourism infrastructure, and to establish a development plan for tourism in order to further strengthen the economic and social impact on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways, as the national airline of the UAE, is an invaluable and strategic partner for the development of the tourism sector in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.”

Miral and Etihad Airways will enter into a close destination-driven relationship in which Hala Abu Dhabi, the airline’s destination management subsidiary, will be providing a wide range of tourism, marketing and distribution services, including product development, global distribution and digital capabilities.

Mohamed Al Zaabi, Chief Executive Officer of Miral, said: “Abu Dhabi is a world-leader in state-of-the-art leisure, business and sporting facilities, and nowhere is this more evident than on Yas Island. Miral’s collaboration with Etihad Airways and TCA Abu Dhabi signifies our commitment to growing inbound tourism and long-haul stopovers to Yas Island. Together, we will increase in-market trade cooperation, international branding exercises, media and loyalty programmes, as well as education and PR strategies. This will increase passengers on Etihad Airways and visitor numbers to Yas Island,  providing an immeasurable benefit to all travellers wanting a unique and authentic holiday experience.

“With Etihad Airways and the close proximity to Abu Dhabi’s International airport, Miral is excited to be spearheading a new wave of global interest in Destination Yas Island.”

Previous collaborative work between Etihad Airways and TCA Abu Dhabi has yielded highly successful global campaigns such as the ‘Travellers Welcome’ campaign and the Abu Dhabi Golf and MICE programmes. In 2015, TCA Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways, together with Hala Abu Dhabi, co-hosted several major internationally recognised conferences in Abu Dhabi, such as the ANVR Dutch Travel Congress, the SRV Swiss Travel Association 2015 General Assembly, and 32 major travel exhibitions and roadshows worldwide.

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