Abu Dhabi is becoming more and more a preferred tourism destination. In particular, Mubarak Rashed Al Nuaimi, the director of Promotion and Overseas Offices at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), foresees a rise in Chinese visitors travelling to the emirate this year. As of Q1 of 2015 [TTG MENA reported], there were “64,098 Chinese guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi – an increase of 99 per cent on the corresponding period in 2014 – and an 82 per cent jump in guest nights at the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments, to 91,449.”
Etihad Airways flights to and from China also account for the rapid growth of inbound tourism from the People’s Republic into the Emirate, said Sophia Cao, TCA Abu Dhabi’s China country manager, together with the number of leisure and hospitality outlets in the capital to welcome them.
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) revealed Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named ‘Airline of the Year at the China Travel & Meeting Industry Awards’. It has been the carrier of choice for Chinese travelers for some time now. China is the fastest-growing source of tourists for the Emirates.
China is linked to Abu Dhabi through 21 services between Abu Dhabi and 3 major cities in mainland China – Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. Etihad has catered to the strong demand from China and has helped to give some lift to UAE economic growth, with the UAE looking to grab a larger share of trade with China.
According to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, this has made a positive economic impact, and a large number of Chinese companies and nationals account for a significant part of the population of the emirate.
The economic relationship of the UAE and China has led to the elimination of many trade barriers. For the past three years, there has been a steady growth in numbers of group business people and individuals from the Chinese market operating within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The bilateral economic relation between UAE and China are witnessing rapid progress, and is growing at more than 14 per cent annually, thanks to the boosting trade between the two countries. This is seen from the gradual increase in the investments and the noticeable growing trade volumes.
DIFC, which has a unique role as the pre-eminent business and financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, serves as an ideal platform to benefit from the opportunities presented by regional high-growth markets. To date, DIFC has received strong interest from Chinese financial institutions, investment banks and professional firms.