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14 Oct 2015 17:00

ABTA – The Travel Association, has revealed that Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and its national airline Etihad Airways, will host the association’s 2016 Travel Convention. The convention will take place from 10 to 12 October, 2016. at the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s hub of leisure, sports and retail activities. 

The choice of Abu Dhabi was announced at the 2015 ABTA Travel Convention in Costa Navarino, Greece.

This will be the first time that the Travel Convention has been held in Abu Dhabi. The Emirate was chosen for its immense touristic appeal and superior infrastructure. ABTA was impressed by the city’s efforts to transform itself into a global showcase of modern living and culture.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways’ Vice President for UAE Commercial, said: “ABTA’s decision to choose Abu Dhabi for the 2016 Travel Convention is true recognition of the enormous efforts the Emirate has placed on developing Abu Dhabi into a progressive world class hub of tourism, culture and tolerance. Abu Dhabi’s population is diverse, forward-thinking, and above all welcoming.

“As the world-leading national airline of the UAE, we are delighted to be able to welcome the movers and shakers of the United Kingdom’s travel industry to our cosmopolitan home, and in doing so highlight and celebrate the great importance of the British tourism market to Etihad Airways and its partners.”

In 2014 and 2015, year-to-date, Etihad Airways carried approximately 900,000 guests on its flights from the United Kingdom.

Noel Josephides, ABTA Chairman, said: "I am delighted that Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi have agreed to host the 2016 Travel Convention. Abu Dhabi leads the world in state-of-the-art luxurious hotels and facilities, and in the Yas Viceroy we will be lucky enough to be able to enjoy one of the most iconic buildings in Abu Dhabi."

Etihad Airways, as official airline, will fly over 500 leading travel company managers, owners, and industry leaders to the convention. The Yas Viceroy Hotel is located within the Yas Marina Circuit and is the first hotel in the world to be built over a Formula 1 race circuit.

The airline will offer ABTA delegates flights from its three main gateways in the United Kingdom – London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Sultan Al Dhaheri, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) Acting Executive Director for Tourism, said: “Hosting the 2016 ABTA Travel Convention in Abu Dhabi is testament to the great efforts the Emirate has taken to establish itself as a world-leading and progressive tourism, sporting and cultural hub. Welcoming the leaders of the British travel industry here is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our diverse and colourful home through the UK’s sophisticated and experienced travel trade.”

Etihad Airways operates six daily flights from the United Kingdom, connecting through its hub in Abu Dhabi to the leading leisure and business destinations in Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean and Australasia. The airline operates its new flagship Airbus A380 from London Heathrow, featuring The Residence, the only three room cabin in the sky, First Apartments, Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats.

Abu Dhabi is an all-round holiday destination, built around a rich heritage and made up of over 200 islands, more than 400 km of pristine coastline, modern cityscapes, dramatic mountains and awe-inspiring deserts. Visitors to the Emirate can explore former palaces, forts, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques, and the Saadiyat Cultural District’s museums, art galleries and performing arts centres. Construction of Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums is nearing completion, with openings scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Abu Dhabi features some of the world’s leading beach and desert resorts and offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities, including its PGA certified golf courses. The city is also fast becoming a leading sporting destination, hosting the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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