Etihad Airways launches Abu Dhabi stopover programme

Passengers who book a two-night stay from a choice of over 60 participating hotels in Abu Dhabi will receive the second night free, Etihad has announced.

LOCATION 2: Parts of Race 3 will be shot at the opulent Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Wam
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Etihad Airways is promoting 48-hour stopovers in Abu Dhabi with free hotel stays for premium-class passengers.

Peter Baumgartner, the airline’s chief executive, said the launch of its comprehensive stopover programme would highlight “the emirate’s sophisticated infrastructure, the hospitality of the Emirati people, and its beautiful landscape”.

“It is the perfect stopover destination for those flying through Abu Dhabi and an ideal domestic getaway for those living in the wider UAE,” he said.

Business-class passengers who choose to stopover in Abu Dhabi will get a complimentary night’s stay, while first-class travellers receive two free nights, Etihad said today. Passengers flying in The Residence cabin onboard the Airbus A380 will get a free two-night stay at the Emirates Palace hotel.

On Monday, Abu Dhabi’s Tourism & Culture Authority, said the total number of hotel guests increased 4 per cent in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier. New visa-on-arrival regulations introduced last year resulted in the number of Chinese tourists staying in Abu Dhabi hotels increasing by 48 per cent to 138,747.

The visa rules were likewise eased for Russians this year, and in the first quarter the number of Russian visitors staying in Abu Dhabi hotels increased 41 per cent to 48,207.

However, the TCA said that despite the surge in Chinese and Russian visitors, other key source markets were hit by currency fluctuations.

The operator of Abu Dhabi International airport reported on Monday that 6.15 million passengers travelled through the hub in the first quarter, up 1.8 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

According to the Abu Dhabi Airports figures, the year-on-year growth in passenger numbers has slowed from 9.5 per cent reported in the first quarter of 2016 and 21.1 per cent reported in Q1 2015.

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