Tourism 365 has been started by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, which is part of state holding company ADQ and is in the process of a proposed $5.45 billion merger with Abu Dhabi National Hotels.
The new company “is in line with Adnec’s new, broader role to support the growth of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination, increasing leisure visitors, enhancing guest experiences and extending their stay in the UAE’s capital”, Adnec said in a statement. “Tourism 365 will work in concert with key stakeholders across Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector and the UAE.”
Abu Dhabi’s economy is poised to grow 6 per cent to 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the emirate’s Department of Economic Development said earlier this year.
The government’s Department of Culture and Tourism said earlier this month it will invest $6bn as part of a broadening of its remit to oversee the cultural and creative sectors of the economy, which includes funding for the development of the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi within the Saadiyat Cultural District, as well as investments in the performing arts, music, media and gaming sectors.
Tourism 365 will incorporate a destination management arm known as Capital Experience and a premium travel operator called Capital Travel, the company said.
“Tourism 365 will contribute to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s vibrant tourism ecosystem, bringing significant returns on investment to the emirate,” Humaid Al Dhaheri, managing director and group chief executive of Adnec, said.
“It will do so by launching a range of companies that will promote the tourism industry and other supporting sectors, securing major partnerships with dominant international and travel companies.”
The proposed merger between Adnec and Abu Dhabi National Hotels is set to create one of the largest hospitality, events and catering powerhouses in the region.
The merged entity would comprise 28 owned and operated hotels with a total of 6,700 rooms, three large exhibition centres in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and London as well as several catering companies and food and beverage outlets.
Adnec named Roula Jouny as the executive director of Tourism 365. Ms Jouny has over 20 years of experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, according to the statement.
Adnec has five hotels in its portfolio including the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort as well as the Andaz Abu Dhabi Capital Gate, Aloft Abu Dhabi and Aloft ExCel. It also owns and operates the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the largest exhibition venue in the Mena region.
“Our subsidiaries will bolster the wider tourism offerings of not just Abu Dhabi, but the UAE as a whole, increasing visitor numbers and promoting the nation’s tourism assets across the globe,” Ms Jouny, said.