A select group of product and marketing managers from key tour operators and wholesalers around Australia have just returned from an educational to Abu Dhabi. The trip was organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s (TCA Abu Dhabi) office in Sydney.
The group pictured at Ferrari World about to board Formula Rossa – The world’s fastest rollercoaster.
L-R Amir Klicic – Etihad Airways, Vanessa Morgan – Greece & Med Travel Centre, Michael Woods – Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Kaelei Macmillan – Infinity Holidays, Michael Zhang – Webjet, Alexandra Pisker – Australian Pacific, Alisa Feillafe – Adventureworld, Paul Polyviou – Sun Island Tours.
TCA Abu Dhabi’s Australian Country Manager Michael Woods said, “The importance of these famils with the travel trade allows the operators to experience first-hand key elements of what makes Abu Dhabi a luxury, cultural and adventure destination. Abu Dhabi has always been a popular stop-over destination for many Aussies particularly those on the way to Europe. However, our latest figures indicate that the trend has changed as more Aussie travellers are choosing to stay on longer in Abu Dhabi, to enjoy the variety of attractions that the city and wider emirate has to offer.”
The group travelled across Abu Dhabi to experience first-hand the diverse range of attractions and experiences such as: the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi; the award-winning Yas Waterworld; the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, named by TripAdvisor as one of the world’s Top 20 Landmark attractions and the stunning beachfront destination of Saadiyat Island. A trip to the Date Souk was also on the itinerary, where the agents got to sample a selection of mouthwatering dates from around Arabia.
Highlights of the tour included visits and stays at some of Abu Dhabi city’s top hotels including the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr; Traders Hotel and Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri.
An overnight stay was also organised at the mountain oasis resort, Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Hotel in Al Ain – Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland. The travellers also visited the Al Ain camel market, Al Jahili Fort and Al Ain Palace Museum.
The group then ventured deep into the desert to the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Set in the legendary Liwa Desert, the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass, the hotel is a luxurious oasis where the guests undertook their first adventurous thrill of dune bashing – riding the towering dunes in a 4×4 vehicle. Famil guests also enjoyed the Al Falaj dinner under the stars; with Arabic style seating around a bonfire, with tents, shisha and an Emirati-themed BBQ.
The trip wrapped up with a farewell dinner at the Corniche-front Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. The group flew with Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad Airways.