Two large corporate groups from India recently visited Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, demonstrating the country’s recovering appetite for outbound incentive travel as well as the emirate’s attractive appeal as a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.
A combined number of almost 1,000 Indian delegates belonging to CASAGRAND, a leading South Indian real estate firm, and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a Silicon Valley-based global networking organisation, enjoyed several days of winter sun and Emirati hospitality as part of their incentive travel programmes.
Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director of Abu Dhabi Convention and Events Bureau (ADCEB), said, “With our travel industry partners in Abu Dhabi, we were delighted to have hosted delegates from two leading Indian organisations, CASAGRAND and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), in Abu Dhabi for the first time. India is one of our key source markets and we are continuously working to present the best value proposition for corporate groups and MICE planners with our renowned Emirati hospitality. As Abu Dhabi offers a safe environment for on-ground business events, meetings, conferences and incentive travel, we are pleased to see big corporate groups from India and around the world return to our destination, and look forward to welcoming even more during 2022.”
Both groups from India experienced Abu Dhabi’s strong cultural, historical, leisure, entertainment, eco-adventure and winter sun offerings as a destination of choice. With one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world and strong COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocols, Abu Dhabi provides a safe and seamless holiday experience to travellers from around the world.
For its 2021 Global Charter Members Retreat, TiE selected the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort as its base. Located 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the resort is known for its pristine beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf, its wide range of sporting activities, the spectacular Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and its luxurious spa. Around 150 TiE members and their families enjoyed sightseeing tours of the city, culinary experiences, desert safaris, shopping and other leisure activities.
Mahavir Sharma, Past Chair TiE Global Board and Current Retreat Chair, said, “Abu Dhabi was the best destination for bringing together our members under one roof for our annual Global Charter Members Retreat. Beyond its scenic location and leisure offering, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort served as the perfect venue for hosting our networking events, speaker sessions and our awards ceremony. We look forward to visiting Abu Dhabi again in the future.”
During their multi-day incentive trip to Abu Dhabi, the CASAGRAND group was hosted in several hotels in the city with visits to key attractions, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Rajneesh Jain, Chief Financial Officer, CASAGRAND said: “We couldn’t think of a safer incentive travel destination than Abu Dhabi to offer 850 of our members an incredible and memorable experience. With its fantastic weather in the winter, exciting range of leisure and entertainment options, five-star accommodation and excellent hospitality, Abu Dhabi ensured that our members left feeling inspired and motivated. All of us can’t wait to come back to Abu Dhabi again.”
Abu Dhabi hosted a busy roster of high-profile conferences, meetings and incentives in 2021 and is poised to host more this year, including the launch of six trade shows and five association conventions, further establishing the emirate as an ideal destination for meeting planners, conference organisers, and exhibition organisers looking to hold key events and meetings.
Last year also saw the launch of several landmark projects in Abu Dhabi that have further elevated the destination’s global appeal, including Etihad Arena, the region’s largest multipurpose indoor arena set on the stunning waterfront of Yas Bay; Al Qana, a unique waterfront destination that houses The National Aquairum, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, and WB Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Warner Bros-themed hotel.
With highly competitive meeting facilities, world-class event infrastructure, and a strong and varied leisure offering, Abu Dhabi is a leading MICE destination to host large groups. Due to its proximity of less than three hours’ flying time from India, and a strong safety and hygiene record, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming the top MICE destination for Indian corporate groups and travellers, further demonstrated by its award as the ‘Best MICE Destination’ by Travel + Leisure India in 2020.
Open to vaccinated travellers from around the world and unvaccinated visitors from Green List countries – without the need to quarantine – Abu Dhabi sees MICE as a critical catalyst for the recovery of the tourism sector and the overall economy. To support this growth, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has launched several initiatives to drive visits to the destination.