If the warmth and exoticness of Middle East allures you limitlessly, then it's time to head to Abu Dhabi - a relatively new destination on the radar of Indian luxe travellers!
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: October 10, 2011
If the warmth and exoticness of Middle East allures you limitlessly, then it’s time to head to Abu Dhabi – a relatively new destination on the radar of Indian luxe travelers!
It’s time we got bitten by the Middle Eastern bug again! And this time, the destination is a mix of Dubai’s contemporary, bustling city life and the slightly more traditional Jordan. It is a place which houses the extremely fast-paced Ferrari World amusement park and the calming Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as well.
The reference to Ferrari World must have perked up your ears and you might have even guessed that we are talking about Abu Dhabi! But, if by any chance you think that Ferrari World defines Abu Dhabi, then you are slightly off the mark. Having a variety of attractions to magnetically pull you, there was never a better time to visit Abu Dhabi.
Having recently started looking at outbound tourists from India, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) held an independent road show in Delhi to showcase its unique offerings to the media and travel industry. Mr Dayne Lim Kok Chun, Product Development Division Director at ADTA sat down a little hesitantly as four-five journalists circled him to quiz him about his plans for India.
“Today India is our third largest international market. The number of Indian hotel guests in a year to Abu Dhabi is close to 85,000. However, this year, we expect to exceed 100,000 hotel guests from India. In the first seven months alone we have registered close to 60,000 hotel guests from India - a 52% growth over the same period in 2010. By default, India is our fastest growing market,” said a proud Mr Chun. He is, however, not too satisfied with the core numbers and insists that India can do better.
Surely, Abu Dhabi is somewhere relating to Indian travellers if the destination is experiencing such a high growth! Why not experience this destination yourself instead of giving your neighbours the satisfaction of boasting about their holiday to Abu Dhabi!
Mr Chun sums up the Indian traveler beautifully as he says, “The Indian traveller is very sophisticated. What an IT professional in Bangalore wants is very different from what a traditional family from Chennai wants.” To confirm his stance, Mr Chun rattles out a number of things which an Indian traveler can enjoy depending on his or her purpose. “If I look at the family segment, certainly a visit to Yas Island, where the Ferrari World is, is a must in the itinerary. If you are more of a culture seeker, a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and our historic forts and palaces will enthrall them. Visiting the various souks in the market will also appeal. If you are urban traveller looking for adventure, then I think sailing and desert safaris are a must-do activity for you.”
It was apt for him to mention sailing. Boating and yachting enthusiasts can’t miss the chance to experience it up and close! On this New Year’s Eve, Abu Dhabi will welcome the fleet of the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race, which makes a two-week stopover here during its third leg, on January 1, 2012. Watch awe-inspiring racing yachts, and cheer for your favourite sea-hardened expert sailors along with more than 100,000 fans of this most prestigious yacht world race.
During this fortnight, Abu Dhabi will celebrate the race with concerts by international superstars and an interactive race village which is specially been created to host this brave troop. There will be a spectacular welcome ceremony, in-port racing, city receptions and more entertainment to dazzle the onlookers!
Besides the Volvo Ocean Race, a lot of unique events are set to happen in Abu Dhabi: the Abu Dhabi Art Fair; the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2012; and Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2012. There is a lot more to fill up your itinerary and excite your senses.
And if you get to spend your leisure time in true luxury, I can’t fathom a reason to not consider Abu Dhabi as your next holiday destination! A host of new luxury properties are set to open their doors to luxury travelers, ranging from Ritz-Carlton and St Regis to a Jumeirah and two fabulous Hyatt properties!
With 5-7 days enough to explore Abu Dhabi, you can have your days filled with high-paced adventure, cultural exploration, or simply laze-laced beach time!