A new company has been formed to attract more visitors to Abu Dhabi and develop its tourism sector.
Tourism 365 was set up by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, which is part of state holding company ADQ and is involved in discussions over a proposed $5.45 billion merger with Abu Dhabi National Hotels.
Adnec said Tourism 365’s formation is in line with its "new, broader role to support the growth of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination, increasing leisure visitors, enhancing guest experiences and extending their stay in the UAE’s capital”.
“Tourism 365 will work in concert with key stakeholders across Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector and the UAE,” said Adnec.
Abu Dhabi's economic growth is expected to be between 6 per cent and 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the emirate's Department of Economic Development, said earlier this year.
The government’s Department of Culture and Tourism said this month that it will invest $6bn to broaden its remit to oversee the cultural and creative sectors of the economy.
This will include funding for the development of the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi within the Saadiyat Cultural District, and financial support for the performing arts, music, media and gaming sectors.
Tourism 365 will incorporate a destination management arm known as Capital Experience and a premium travel operator called Capital Travel.
“Tourism 365 will contribute to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s vibrant tourism ecosystem, bringing significant returns on investment to the emirate,” said Adnec managing director and group chief executive Humaid Al Dhaheri.
“It will do so by launching a range of companies that will promote the tourism industry and other supporting sectors, securing major partnerships with dominant international and travel companies.”
The proposed merger between Adnec and Abu Dhabi National Hotels is expected to create one of the largest hospitality, events and catering companies in the region.
The merged entity would comprise 28 owned and operated hotels with a total of 6,700 rooms, three large exhibition centres in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and London, several catering companies and food and beverage outlets.
Adnec named Roula Jouny as the executive director of Tourism 365. Ms Jouny has more than 20 years of experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
Adnec has five hotels in its portfolio – Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Andaz Abu Dhabi Capital Gate, Aloft Abu Dhabi and Aloft ExCel.
It also owns and operates the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the largest exhibition venue in the Mena region.
“Our subsidiaries will bolster the wider tourism offerings of not just Abu Dhabi but the UAE as a whole, increasing visitor numbers and promoting the nation’s tourism assets across the globe,” said Ms Jouny.