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Abu Dhabi unveils UAE’s first operational vertiport

The plans announced are set to bolster Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster, and kickstart the development of required infrastructure to operationalise air taxis…reports Asian Lite News

UAE’s first operational vertiport for vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) was unveiled in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), in collaboration with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and The Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi (DMT), represented by Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), an affiliate of the Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi (DMT), unveiled the vertiport at DRIFTx, an international event showcasing smart, autonomous, and sustainable urban mobility across air, land, and sea.

The temporary vertiport facility, constructed in line with the latest industry standards and regulations set by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), offers a glimpse into Abu Dhabi’s strategy to deliver one of the world’s most advanced sectors for electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) by 2026. AD Mobility will regulate the advanced air mobility sector in Abu Dhabi by working in conjunction with the UAE’s GCAA.

In this context, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, remarked: “Our collaboration with ADIO and AD Mobility underscores our commitment to fostering innovation while maintaining the highest levels of safety and regulatory compliance in the rapidly evolving field of advanced air mobility. Events like DRIFTx play a crucial role in accelerating the development of advanced air mobility in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. By bringing together industry experts, innovators, and stakeholders, DRIFTx facilitates invaluable dialogue and collaboration that propels us toward a future where smart and sustainable urban air transportation is a reality.”

The UAE’s GCAA initiative in establishing the world’s first national regulation on vertiports last year paved the way for advanced air mobility in the UAE, ensuring the availability of safe and suitable infrastructure to accommodate eVTOL aircraft. This bespoke regulation covers design, operations, and certification provisions for vertiports on land and in sea, demonstrating commitment to fostering innovation while prioritizing safety and regulatory compliance in the rapidly evolving aviation landscape.”

The temporary vertiport facility unveiled at DRIFTx was approved based on these rigorous standards, ensuring the highest levels of safety for operations. By pioneering this regulatory framework, the UAE’s GCAA sets an example for regulators worldwide, showcasing a proactive approach to facilitating the safe introduction of emerging technologies.

Abdulla Al Marzouqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), added: “The collaboration between ADIO and AD Mobility will see vertiports setup in strategic locations across Abu Dhabi, including major business hubs and tourism destinations. Once complete, the vertiport network will be a key enabler of Abu Dhabi’s SAVI cluster. Centred in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, it provides state-of-the art facilities and value-add services within an enabling regulatory environment for companies developing advanced technologies across air, land, and sea mobility applications. This is an exciting time for mobility in Abu Dhabi.”

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of ADIO, said: “Abu Dhabi’s vertiport network will mark a significant milestone in transport innovation and the future of mobility. Our partnership with AD Mobility is pivotal for creating robust infrastructure to make smart and autonomous vehicles a reality and part of everyday life, propelling us towards a more connected and efficient future. The network will create extensive commercial opportunities for transport infrastructure companies, creating economic development alongside technological advancement.”

ADIO engaged with experts in the advanced air mobility sector that have gathered in the capital for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Mobily Week and outlined the commercial opportunities available to develop the capital’s vertiport infrastructure network through Abu Dhabi’s public-private partnership (PPP) framework.

The plans announced are set to bolster Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster, and kickstart the development of required infrastructure to operationalise air taxis. SAVI offers access to academia, sandboxes, R&D labs, testing and certification facilities, large scale workshops, hangars, manufacturing facilities, and global logistics integration. This has attracted some of the world’s most innovative eVTOL companies, including Archer Aviation and Joby Aviation.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024: A Global Cultural Extravaganza

This year, the ADIBF pays homage to Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz, celebrating Egypt’s profound influence on Arab thought and creativity. As the Focus Personality, Mahfouz’s legacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of literature to transcend borders and unite diverse communities…reports Asian Lite News

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), is poised to make waves once again as it gears up for its 33rd edition in 2024. Renowned as a pinnacle event for the cultural community and publishing industry worldwide, this year’s fair promises to be bigger and more diverse than ever before.

With over 1,350 exhibitors from an impressive 90 countries, the ADIBF continues to uphold its status as a beacon of cultural exchange and literary exploration. The theme for this edition, “Where the World’s Tales Unfold,” encapsulates the essence of the fair, inviting visitors on a journey through the diverse narratives of global literature.

Taking place at the esteemed Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from April 29th to May 5th, 2024, the event boasts an impressive lineup of 145 new exhibitors and publishing houses, alongside the participation of 12 additional countries. From Greece to Indonesia, these nations contribute to the rich tapestry of cultures showcased at the fair, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a global cultural hub.

Central to the ADIBF’s success are the initiatives spearheaded by the ALC to support publishers, exhibitors, and authors. By waiving rental fees for participants for the third consecutive year, the ALC demonstrates its commitment to fostering the growth and sustainability of the publishing sector while promoting the prominence of the Arabic language on the world stage.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, emphasizes the fair’s pivotal role in facilitating intercultural exchange and promoting global dialogue. He remarks, “The sustained efforts and excellent support that the book fair has received have cemented its reputation as a global cultural center and a beacon of knowledge.”

This year, the ADIBF pays homage to Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz, celebrating Egypt’s profound influence on Arab thought and creativity. As the Focus Personality, Mahfouz’s legacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of literature to transcend borders and unite diverse communities.

In a rapidly evolving world, the ADIBF remains a steadfast advocate for the preservation and promotion of literary heritage, offering strategic opportunities for growth and innovation in the publishing sector. As the fair continues to evolve, it reaffirms the UAE’s commitment to nurturing a vibrant cultural landscape and fostering global connections through the universal language of storytelling.

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Abu Dhabi Municipality hosts awareness campaign on fishing spots

The campaign aimed to raise fishermen’s awareness of unauthorised fishing locations and inform them about the authorised fishing areas within Al Bahia Beach, Al Shalila Beach, Al Sader Beach, Ghantoot, and Yas Beach…reports Asian Lite News

The City Municipality Centre and Al Shahama Municipality Centre, representing Abu Dhabi City Municipality, have recently organized an awareness campaign focusing on designated fishing spots in Abu Dhabi and its surrounding areas.

The five-day campaign, covering the geographic areas associated with both centres, falls under the “Darna” initiative. This initiative aims to preserve the general appearance and familiarise the community with laws and requirements related to fishing locations and protecting the marine environment.

The campaign aimed to raise fishermen’s awareness of unauthorised fishing locations and inform them about the authorised fishing areas within Al Bahia Beach, Al Shalila Beach, Al Sader Beach, Ghantoot, and Yas Beach.

The municipality noted that all beaches without fishing prohibition signs are considered available and authorised for fishing.

It also emphasised that fishing prohibition in some areas aligns with the goals of natural resource sustainability and the preservation of the general appearance, following the directives issued by relevant authorities, including the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The awareness campaign included the dissemination of informative publications on the municipality’s social media platforms and “Freejna” app, as well as sending text messages and organising field visits to fishing sites.

Abu Dhabi Municipality called on all fishermen to adhere to the general cleanliness standards in the area, contribute to preserving the general appearance, and refrain from leaving behind any waste that might contaminate the marine environment or beaches. This call underscores the critical role of community responsibility in safeguarding and maintaining natural amenities.

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AVPN Global Conference 2024 Takes Off in Abu Dhabi

The session will highlight strategies for crisis-driven philanthropy, emphasising enhanced responsiveness, coordination, and impact…reports Asian Lite News

The AVPN Global Conference 2024 opens in Abu Dhabi tomorrow.This premier event is set to gather over 1,500 distinguished attendees, including investors, philanthropists, researchers, policymakers, and impactful professionals. Over the course of three dynamic days, participants will converge to address pressing social and environmental challenges, uniting their expertise and resources for collective action

The Conference, the flagship event of AVPN, Asia’s largest network of social investors, journeys to different locations every year, bringing together the region’s social investing ecosystem to learn, connect, and unite in action for Asia.

This year’s Conference takes place in Abu Dhabi from 23rd to 25th April 2024, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council.

It represents the most inclusive Conference to date, spanning from the GCC to the eastern reaches of Australia and New Zealand, bridging North, South, East, and West Asia and leveraging the UAE’s unique ability to unite diverse partners in the pursuit of shared good.

Conference highlights

The Global Conference includes more than 70 plenaries and breakout sessions, including live impact showcases, highlighting key social impact areas such as climate solutions, scaling health resilience, youth and women empowerment, and technology-driven impact. Additionally, Day 2 is dedicated to impact investing, underscoring the region’s growing emphasis on amplifying impact through targeted funding.

Highlighted features of the three-day agenda include 3 key sessions. The first, “Why We Give: Values, Beliefs, and Motivations that Drive Impact” (23 April), highlights how beliefs can inspire transformative giving practices across diverse communities, and the role of values-aligned giving in addressing Asia’s most pressing social issues. “Forging the Impact Investing Ecosystem and Navigating Emerging Trends” (24 April) provides first-hand accounts from leading investors on building adaptive and resilient social investing strategies to deepen the impact. Meanwhile, “Rapid Response Philanthropy: Accelerated Giving in Times of Crisis” (25 April) recognises the need for strategic fund allocation to ensure needs are met in times of crisis. The session will highlight strategies for crisis-driven philanthropy, emphasising enhanced responsiveness, coordination, and impact.

Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Development and International Organisations Affairs and member of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, said, “This year’s AVPN’s conference is the first to be held in the Middle East, bringing together diverse stakeholders to mobilise capital, partnerships, and momentum towards social impact across Asia. Its debut in Abu Dhabi reflects the UAE’s legacy and leadership in global development and the country’s unique ability to convene and unite diverse partners in the pursuit of shared prosperity. The UAE has a rich history and culture of giving, rooted in the example of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose lifelong commitment to helping those in need shaped the values of our nation – and has served to ensure Emiratis past and present understand their responsibilities as global citizens. Over the coming days, we look forward to dynamic conversations together as we explore opportunities to collaborate, innovate, and forge new alliances in support of humanitarian response as well as sustainable and inclusive development to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, said, “Hosting the AVPN Global Conference in Abu Dhabi comes at a crucial moment for the whole of Asia, a region currently navigating through transformative economic shifts with sustainability at their core. This transformation, while ambitious, must also be measured in societal terms. Achieving the targets set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demands a significant ramp-up in investments. With a financing gap of US$1.5 trillion urgently needing to be bridged, social investors must collaborate on multiple fronts to address our region’s socio-environmental challenges swiftly, efficiently, and fairly. The AVPN Global Conference continues to serve as a leading platform for facilitating and accelerating these efforts, and we are encouraged to see numerous stakeholders joining our shared mission towards meaningful social impact.”

Host partners such as the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Reaching the Last Mile, Zayed Charitable & Humanitarian Foundation, Burjeel Holdings, and Alef Education have also lent their support to the Conference, representing the community and enhancing the region’s collaborative efforts. In addition, core partners lending their support and commitment to advancing social impact at the Conference include Emirates Red Crescent and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; while lead partners include The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, the Institute of Philanthropy, Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

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Abu Dhabi affirms readiness for adverse weather conditions

The Abu Dhabi Police General Command noted they operationalised emergency plans and deployed support patrols, in addition to taking several precautionary measures…reports Asian Lite News

Abu Dhabi Police are fully prepared to handle the challenging weather conditions expected in the emirate until April 17th. They will be working closely with all relevant authorities to ensure public safety.

Abu Dhabi Police and relevant entities, including the Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority (ADCDA), Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), Al Ain Municipality, Al Dhafra Municipality, and Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), will ensure to maintain the safety of the community and protect lives and property, Abu Dhabi Police General Command said in a statement today.

The Abu Dhabi Police General Command noted they operationalised emergency plans and deployed support patrols, in addition to taking several precautionary measures, including strengthening the manpower in the operations rooms.

The Abu Dhabi Police Command and Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority are urging the public to take all necessary precautions and follow the updates from the National Center of Meteorology and other official sources.

The two entities are also emphasising the importance of safe driving and following safety measures, including avoiding distractions while driving, adhering to speed limits during the implementation of the speed reduction system on the roads, maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, avoiding sudden braking, and slowing down when turning to prevent the vehicle from skidding.

The Department of Energy and energy sector companies have likewise raised their readiness of emergency and instructed urgent maintenance teams to respond quickly to all reports related to power outages resulting from weather fluctuations.

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Microsoft invests $1.5b in Abu Dhabi’s G42

G42 will run its AI applications and services on Microsoft Azure and partner to deliver advanced AI solutions to global public sector clients and large enterprises…reports Asian Lite News

G42, the leading UAE-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology holding company, and Microsoft have announced a $1.5 billion strategic investment by Microsoft in G42.

The investment will strengthen the two companies’ collaboration on bringing the latest Microsoft AI technologies and skilling initiatives to the UAE and other countries around the world. As part of this expanded partnership Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, will join the G42 Board of Directors.

This expanded collaboration will empower organisations of all sizes in new markets to harness the benefits of AI and the cloud while ensuring they are adopting AI that adheres to world-leading standards in safety and security.

Building on the two organisations’ long-standing collaboration in AI and digital transformation initiatives, Microsoft’s investment deepens the reciprocal commitment to this strategic partnership. G42 will run its AI applications and services on Microsoft Azure and partner to deliver advanced AI solutions to global public sector clients and large enterprises.

G42 and Microsoft will also work together to bring advanced AI and digital infrastructure to countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, providing these nations with equitable access to services to address important governmental and business concerns while ensuring the highest standards of security and privacy.

H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of G42, said, “Microsoft’s investment in G42 marks a pivotal moment in our company’s journey of growth and innovation, signifying a strategic alignment of vision and execution between the two organisations. This partnership is a testament to the shared values and aspirations for progress, fostering greater cooperation and synergy globally.”

The partnership will also support the development of a skilled and diverse AI workforce and talent pool that will drive innovation and competitiveness for the UAE and broader region with the investment of $1B in a development fund for developers.

“Our two companies will work together not only in the UAE, but to bring AI and digital infrastructure and services to underserved nations,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President. “We will combine world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States.”

The commercial partnership is backed by assurances to both governments through a first of its kind agreement to apply world-class best practices to ensure the secure, trusted, and responsible development and deployment of AI. Microsoft and G42 will work closely and elevate the security and compliance framework of their joint international infrastructure. Both companies will move forward with a commitment to comply with US and international trade, security, responsible AI, and business integrity laws and regulations. The work on these topics is governed by a detailed Intergovernmental Assurance Agreement (IGAA) between G42 and Microsoft that was developed in close consultation with both the UAE and US governments.

Peng Xiao, Group Chief Executive Officer of G42, said: “Through Microsoft’s strategic investment, we are advancing our mission to deliver cutting-edge AI technologies at scale. This partnership significantly enhances our international market presence, combining G42’s unique AI capabilities with Microsoft’s robust global infrastructure. Together, we are not only expanding our operational horizons but also setting new industry standards for innovation.”

Samer Abu-Ltaif, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and President, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, added: “Our investment in G42 stands as a testament to the thriving and dynamic tech landscape in the UAE and the broader region. This strategic partnership is well-positioned to ignite opportunities for our customers and partners, accelerate innovation, and fuel economic growth. With G42, we will introduce cutting-edge technologies that will empower countries and markets to advance their digital agendas by harnessing the power of Cloud and AI.”

The collaboration between G42 and Microsoft has expanded through several milestones over the last year. This includes a joint plan announced in April 2023 to develop AI solutions tailored for the public sector and industry, leveraging Microsoft’s extensive partner ecosystem and cloud capabilities. In September 2023, the companies entered into an agreement to introduce sovereign cloud offerings and collaborate on unlocking the potential of advanced AI capabilities on the Azure public cloud platform. Lastly, in November 2023, Microsoft announced the availability of G42’s Jais Arabic Large Language Model on the new Azure AI Cloud Model-as-a-Service offering.

Recently, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Microsoft announced collaboration in developing new AI-based banking capabilities under a strategic business partnership signed today, with the UAE’s largest bank and the global technology leader to cooperate on the launch of an ‘AI Innovation Hub’ for financial services.

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince receives Dubai counterpart

Their Highnesses, joined by sheikhs, guests and the crowd of well-wishers, performed the Maghrib prayer. Following the prayer, they attended the Iftar banquet hosted by H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan…reports Asian Lite News

H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has received H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, today at Al Bateen Palace, where they engaged in warm discussions about the importance of promoting community ties and Emirati values of compassion and generosity during Ramadan.

Their Highnesses and accompanying guests offered prayers for the enduring health and wellness of our leadership on this occasion, and to uphold the blessings of security, stability, and ongoing prosperity of our nation, under the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Their Highnesses, joined by sheikhs, guests and the crowd of well-wishers, performed the Maghrib prayer. Following the prayer, they attended the Iftar banquet hosted by H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Together, they prayed for the continuance of these blessed days for the United Arab Emirates, and for the prosperity and welfare of both its leadership and its people. Their Highnesses also exchanged heartfelt wishes for the long-lasting prosperity and blessings of Arab and Islamic nations worldwide.

ALSO READ-Abu Dhabi private sector achieves remarkable growth

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Abu Dhabi private sector achieves remarkable growth

In 2023, the private sector continued its strong growth, reaching AED 338.9 billion, up 35% compared to 2016. Supported by private sector and family-owned businesses, Abu Dhabi non-oil sectors is going from strength to strength…. reports Asian Lite News

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), organized the second edition of the Al Multaqa quarterly meetings, aiming to strengthen partnerships with the private sector and family offices. The meetings provided the business community with updates on the Emirate’s economy and achievements in 2023, while also emphasizing future opportunities.

Launched in Q4-2023, Al Multaqa Meetings empower Abu Dhabi’s to accelerate economic growth, by providing a platform for ongoing dialogues to support investment and the development of new policies that further enhance the Emirate’s business environment.
In 2023, the private sector continued its strong growth, reaching AED 338.9 billion, up 35% compared to 2016. Supported by private sector and family-owned businesses, Abu Dhabi non-oil sectors is going from strength to strength, recording a growth of 9.1 per cent during 2023 to AED 610 billion to contribute 53.4% of total real GDP.

Addressing Al Multaqa meeting, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “The importance of our collaborative efforts is reflected in Abu Dhabi’s growth indicators. Remarkably, we managed to achieve this strong performance despite global challenges, reflecting the strength and resilience of our ‘Falcon Economy’ and its ability to soar to new heights.”
“Backed by decades-long experience, the private sector and family-owned businesses in Abu Dhabi continue to contribute to economic diversification as evidenced by their share in the highest growing non-oil sectors”.


Family-owned businesses in Abu Dhabi represent 50 per cent of companies in the construction sector, which grew by 13.1 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching more than AED97 billion; 60 per cent in the finance sector, which rose by 25.5 per cent to AED79 billion; 80 per cent in the wholesale trade sector, which achieved a growth of 7.9 per cent, to reach AED63 billion; and 70 per cent in the transportation sector, which rose by 17.1 per cent during past year.


Al Zaabi added: “In our first meeting, we underlined the crucial role that family offices and private sector play in Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s success. Today, I reiterate the importance of discussing promising opportunities, analyse challenges, and work together to overcome them. We are organising these meetings to ensure the exchange of opinions and to benefit from the extensive experiences and knowledge.”


Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, delivered a comprehensive presentation about economic performance of the Emirate during the past 10 years, which saw a 28.5 per cent growth of non-oil GDP, from AED 474.6 billion in 2014 to AED 610 billion in 2023, and a 19 percent rise of total real GDP, from AED 960.1 billion in 2014 to AED 1.14 trillion in 2023.


Alqemzi highlighted major sectors contributing to economic diversification efforts, including manufacturing, construction, finance, trade, transportation, real estate, and ICT.

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO)’s Musataha Programme revealed several investment opportunities offered to the private sector, enabling investors to develop government-owned land. ADIO also announced investment opportunities in the sports field in different areas of the Emirate in addition to new sites that will be offered to develop feed-selling markets.


ADIO has signed agreement with Dustour Marine Wooden Boats Trading Est. to establish a new state-of-the-art project to support the Emirate’s coastal development in line with urban, social, recreational, and economic expansion plans.


ADDED’s Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) and SMEs sector shared significant updates to further improve ease of doing business and enable the private sector to benefit from ample opportunities provided by development plans.

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Abu Dhabi to deliver Tourism Strategy 2030

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said : “The Tourism Strategy 2030 marks a pivotal moment in Abu Dhabi’s transformative journey, representing a vital lever in our ongoing evolution…reports Asian Lite News

His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has approved the new Tourism Strategy 2030 for the emirate. Spearheaded by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the ambitious blueprint signals a new era of expansion and strategic development in the travel and tourism sector.

The Strategy seeks to boost visitor numbers from nearly 24 million in 2023 to 39.3 million by 2030 (overnight and same-day), with a 7% year-on-year growth. Moreover, it plans to significantly elevate the tourism and travel sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP, raising it from approximately AED 49 billion in 2023 to AED 90 billion annually by 2030.

The Strategy will generate an estimated 178,000 new jobs by 2030 as the entire tourism infrastructure develops to meet this demand. It intends to almost double international overnight visitors from 3.8 million in 2023 approximately to 7.2 million in 2030, expand hotel room availability from 34,000 in 2023 to 52,000 by 2030, and further enhance the holiday home segment to diversify accommodation options.

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said : “The Tourism Strategy 2030 marks a pivotal moment in Abu Dhabi’s transformative journey, representing a vital lever in our ongoing evolution. Delivered alongside our key partners, the Strategy underscores our steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable growth and strategic development in the travel and tourism sector. Through carefully crafted initiatives that will unlock economic opportunities, amplify our distinctive culture and enhance the emirate’s value proposition, we are laying the foundation for a vibrant and prosperous future that transcends generations.”

Fostering sustainable growth across four strategic pillars

To achieve the Strategy’s goals, 26 key initiatives have been identified across four strategic pillars: Offering and City Activation; Promotion & Marketing; Infrastructure & Mobility; and Visa, Licensing, and Regulations. These pillars form the foundation of Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive approach to realising its ambitious tourism targets and fostering sustainable growth in the sector.

The initiatives will be unlocked through the collective vision of DCT Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), and other key government and private stakeholders, who play a strategic role in bringing Abu Dhabi’s tourism vision to life.

The first pillar, Offering and City Activation, looks to further enhance the overall guest experience by unveiling additional cultural sites, theme parks, retails offerings and new hotel chains. Overall boosting the emirate’s events calendar of year-round concerts, festivals, and family events. The dining landscape will diversify significantly, offering expanded options including the introduction of culinary schools and training programmes.

DCT Abu Dhabi will also more than double its Promotion and Marketing efforts, expanding its international reach from 11 to 26 markets and enhancing synergy within Abu Dhabi’s tourism ecosystem. It will also establish strategic global partnerships with media outlets and well-known brands for high-profile collaborations, creating compelling, market-specific content across various touchpoints.

The Strategy’s Infrastructure and Mobility pillar will increase hotel room availability across various categories, including accessible and luxury options, glamping, and farm stays. Through valued collaborations, the emirate is set to enhance roads, public transport, and infrastructure, simplifying travel within and boosting visitor inflow through increased flight seat capacity with both local and international airlines.

Lastly, both visitor experience and tourism business operations will be greatly enhanced with streamlined Visa, Licensing and Regulation processes. In collaboration with relevant government agencies, enhanced platforms and processes will reduce time frames for all applications and permits, to improve the ease of doing business and attract investment.

Building on the success of 2023

In 2023, Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector saw a remarkable surge, welcoming nearly 24 million visitors. The 27% rise in hotel guests and 54% increase in international guests bolstered the economy with an approximate AED 49 billion contribution to the UAE’s GDP.

Arrivals from key international markets like India, Russia, United Kingdom, China and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a pivotal role in 2023, alongside the numbers attracted by the emirate’s vibrant array of over 150 events, its pristine beaches and natural landscapes, as well as its cultural sites such as Qasr Al Hosn, Qasr al Watan and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which attracted more than 8.7 million visitors. Offerings across museums, cultural festivals and art exhibitions saw record-setting attendance at Louvre Abu Dhabi and the inaugural Manar Abu Dhabi public art exhibition, underscoring the emirate’s diverse appeal.

Visitor numbers were further boosted by a 44% increase in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events. With 960,000 delegates across 2,477 events exploring Abu Dhabi’s attractions and dining options, the food and beverage sector saw a resultant 21% revenue increase. In addition, flagship entertainment events like the MOTN Festival and Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, along with cultural milestones such as the Al Hosn Festival and the Liwa Festival, further solidified Abu Dhabi’s position as a global centre for leisure and tourism.

About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi:

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors and its creative industries, fuelling economic progress and helping to achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions.

By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate’s position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate’s potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies and systems to support the culture and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the emirate’s people, heritage and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought.

ALSO READ-Abu Dhabi Real Estate Market Flourishes in Q1 2024

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Abu Dhabi Real Estate Market Flourishes in Q1 2024

In the first quarter of 2024, Abu Dhabi’s real estate market experienced significant activity, totaling AED15.9 billion in transactions with 5,127 sales and mortgage deals. Data from the DARI platform of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) highlighted 2,919 sales transactions, totaling over AED9.6 billion, with a mix of ready-made and off-plan units…reports Asian Lite News

During the first quarter of 2024, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi saw a robust real estate market, with transactions totaling AED15.9 billion. This figure encompasses 5,127 sales and mortgage transactions involving a variety of property types, indicating significant activity and investment within the sector.

According to data from the DARI platform of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi, the emirate logged 2,919 sales and purchases transactions in Q1 2024 totalling over AED9.6 billion. This includes 1,167 ready-made real estate units and 1,752 off-plan units.

DARI data showed that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi recorded about 2,208 mortgage deals during Q1, with a total value of AED6.3 billion.
Meanwhile, the top three real estate transactions logged in Abu Dhabi during the past week, with Al Saadiyat Island and Yas Island topping the list of the largest transactions for Aldar Properties projects. The total value of transactions on Yas Island amounted to AED23.5 million, while the one on Al Saadiyat Island totalled AED14.3 million.

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