From new attractions such as the Snow Park and Game Center, to events and unique exhibits, the capital offers a variety of activities to “enrich life”
The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi) today outlined a growth roadmap to 2023 that will promote, preserve and develop Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sector. Until then, innovation, resilience and consolidation in these industries drive strong performance in 2022.
In a dialogue with members of the media, DCT Abu Dhabi Undersecretary Saood Al Hosani emphasized that culture is at the heart of DCT Abu Dhabi’s plans and highlighted the role culture plays in creating innovative and resilient communities. As part of its strategic objective to foster a strong national identity, DCT Abu Dhabi continues its mission of promoting and disseminating the UAE’s heritage and cultural identity.
Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Culture is at the heart of everything we do and we have set bold and ambitious targets for 2023 to promote, preserve and grow Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism. We are proud Proud to share some of our 2022 results which powerfully demonstrate how we are re-igniting our growth engines driven by these resilient sectors, visionary leadership and key partnerships across the creative industries.
“We are driving Abu Dhabi forward by creating new jobs and career opportunities, fostering growth in the cultural sector across the cultural and creative industries (CCIs), while enabling a thriving business and leisure tourism industry. Our aim is to Share Abu Dhabi with the world and enrich people’s lives,” he added.
Plans for 2023: more jobs, promotion of Arabic, tourism
The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism focuses on the promotion and preservation of culture, building on the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, to strengthen national identity, develop talent, raise awareness of Emirati traditions and values, and develop A strong and innovative cultural scene. The department continues to formulate policies to preserve Abu Dhabi’s heritage, the emirate’s museums and cultural sites, and curate visual and performing arts programs that attract diverse audiences from the UAE, the region and around the world.
DCT Abu Dhabi sees culture and tourism as important drivers of the country’s social and economic progress, and the sector’s support for CCI reflects its commitment to building a diverse, vibrant and sustainable economy for the emirate.
As CCI’s custodian and in collaboration with its partners, DCT Abu Dhabi will support the creation of more than 300 jobs in the fast-growing video game industry. The target will include more than 20 new companies with significant expansion potential to boost the UAE capital’s successful gaming and esports ecosystem.
DCT Abu Dhabi also promotes and preserves the Arabic language, ensuring that many of its initiatives are rooted in the emirate’s land and environment. The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC) continues to support Arabic proficiency in the UAE community, while promoting the development of Arabic publishing through key projects such as Kalima and Esdarat. ALC Abu Dhabi’s 2023 target to attract book fair and festival attendance has also been raised.
“All of these initiatives help strengthen our position as a key platform for culture and creativity, where thought leadership, cross-cultural exchange and innovation thrive. Most importantly, we are proud to continue to develop Abu Dhabi’s leading museum , such as the Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi Natural History Museum and Al Ain Museum, while also hosting cultural events such as the upcoming Abu Dhabi Cultural Summit later this year. In its sixth session, we will Bringing together leaders from the arts, heritage, media, museums, public policy and technology once again to discuss how culture transforms societies and communities around the world,” added Al Hosani.
New Attractions, Events
In support of the sector’s aim to welcome more than 24 million tourists in 2023 (18 million in 2022), the destination service is growing with the recent opening of many new attractions such as Yas Island Marine World, Abu Dhabi, Pixoul Gaming , Adrenark Adventure and Abu Dhabi Snow, inspiring visitors to return and ensuring they experience all that Abu Dhabi has to offer.
Experience Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi’s destination brand, is transforming the emirate into a year-round destination offering exciting, inspiring and rejuvenating experiences for visitors to explore at their own pace. These include showcasing the “Oasis of Life” in Al Ain, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, providing authentic experiences for local tourists and cultural explorers.
Throughout 2023, “Experience Abu Dhabi” will cover more than 40 international markets through 22 creative activities. As part of these efforts, Experience Abu Dhabi has launched a series of market-specific events in 2023, including The Gulf starring Ahmed Helmy and Mona Zaki. The partnership board’s Arab Priority campaign video and the signing of a two-year brand ambassador deal with Bollywood star Ranveer Singh resonated with Indian audiences.
Year-round events and experiences in Abu Dhabi are brought together in an action-packed Abu Dhabi calendar featuring family-friendly entertainment and concerts, complemented by global IP partnerships including UFC, NBA and Formula 1 Cooperation. This also includes seasonal events, retail festivals, a rich food scene, and other drivers of growth and traffic.
Reflecting on success in 2022
Abu Dhabi Tourism has revealed details of visitor figures for 2022 in its forthcoming annual report, underpinning Abu Dhabi’s case for 18 million visitors for the year – a 17% increase on the previous year, which part of the recovery from the pandemic. The growth in domestic and international tourism is indicative of growing awareness of Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination and the broad appeal of an expanding year-round range of cultural experiences, entertainment, sporting events, trade shows and international roadshows.
To highlight the importance of culture in building strong and innovative communities, UNESCO and the Abu Dhabi Cultural Center have jointly published Culture in the Time of COVID-19: Resilience, Recovery and Revival, a comprehensive overview provides an overview of the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector since March 2020 and outlines the direction and strategy for the industry’s revival to better shape the industry into a resilient and sustainable society for future generations. industry.
DCT Abu Dhabi organizes major exhibitions and an impressive range of visual and performing arts programs across its different museums and cultural venues, and welcomes over 245,000 students to learn about Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene.
Fulfilling its mission to raise awareness of the UAE’s heritage, the ministry inscribed two new intangible cultural heritage items on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, including the ancient art of camel calls and date palms, and continues to organize major cultural Events and festivals such as Abu Dhabi Arts Festival, Al Hosn Festival, Craft Festival, Maritime Heritage Festival and Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Book Fair.
The department also announced the opening of the Abu Dhabi National History Museum to the world with an introductory exhibition themed on the 67 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex ‘Stan’. Emphasizing the museum’s role as a scientific research institution, the department provides educational resources to help people understand the evolving story of our planet, from an Arabic perspective, and aims to inspire a lifelong passion for the natural world in visitors of all ages.
DCT Abu Dhabi then set the anticipation for the launch of teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi with an immersive art installation that engaged visitors in an active digital art experience.
Boosting Tourism in Abu Dhabi
DCT Abu Dhabi confirmed the growth in leisure and MICE visits (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and revealed hotel occupancy rates of over 70% in 2022, exceeding the Middle East average. These include a 24% increase in overnight hotel guests compared to 2021 to 4.1 million, while the average stay per visitor is three nights, resulting in a massive 18% year-over-year increase in revenue per visitor. Rooms available compared to 2021.
Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a global business hub has strengthened its position as the destination of choice for business events, with the country hosting over 600,000 MICE visitors and hosting 1,210 MICE events in 2022, showcasing its world-leading venues, Hotels, and supporting facilities.
The increase in MICE events is driven by DCT Abu Dhabi’s revamped Abu Dhabi Advantage 2.0 programme, which offers event organizers a unique opportunity to capture destination-driven value by providing bespoke destination support. All this has ensured the emirate’s status as a regional center for doing business.
Regarding the future of the emirate’s conventions and events, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi) recently won the bid to host the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13). Hosting the biennial event for the first time in the UAE capital further strengthens Abu Dhabi’s position as the destination of choice for major global meetings and conferences.
DCT Abu Dhabi continues to work closely with Miral, Etihad Airways, ADNEC and other MICE partners to attract more meetings and incentive groups to the emirate, which was recently named the best in the Middle East by the International Congress and Convention Association Best association meeting city (International Chamber of Commerce).