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Abu Dhabi a big tourist attraction this Eid

Ferrari World on Yas Island is always a big favourite for families, says spokesman

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is growing to become a popular holiday destination.

There are increasing numbers of inbound travellers coming from across the GCC and further afield, from Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany, according to an Etihad Airways spokesman.

“Visitors usually opt for desert safaris, sightseeing tours around Abu Dhabi, and Ferrari World on Yas Island is always a big favourite for families. A round of golf on one of the city’s many golf courses is also proving to be a major attraction and is one of the fastest growing tourism activities,” the spokesman said.

Hotels in Abu Dhabi are also expecting to run at high occupancies during the Eid holiday as they believe visitors will be coming from within the UAE and outside it as well.

“We’re in a high season anyway, so the Eid is just a compliment,” said Kamal Fakhoury, cluster general manager for the Cristal Hotels in UAE.

“Normally Abu Dhabi is not as busy as Dubai but we also get some action,” he said, adding that their projects are to be running at an occupancy rate that is in the 80s during Eid.

Paul Simmons, director of sales and marketing at Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News that they expect to see late bookings from the GCC which should make for a busy period. “We can say we are forecasting 70 to 80 per cent [occupancy rate] during Eid,” he said.

“Due to Eid this year being very close to the build up for F1 we already have a large number of bookings in place which are mainly from Europe and the UK in general,” he added.

David Garner, regional director of sales and marketing at Anantara, said that their two properties, Qasr Al Sarab and Desert Islands Resort and Spa, are expected to be fully booked the first two days of Eid.

“We have some limited rooms available at the moment, but were forecasting to be at 100 per cent,” he said.

“These guests are coming from the domestic market, the GCC and the international market because it [Eid] coincides with some half term holiday dates in Europe as well,” he added.

When it comes to Anantara’s new Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa, business is still in the build-up. “We’ve got some promotions in place to attract people,” he said. “Generally the city hotels fill in on a later period than the resort properties.”

“However, we’re very delighted with the booking pace for Eid,” he said.