Representatives from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi) arrived in Muscat to receive the award for World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination at the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Ceremony 2019. The award is the latest in several prestigious accolades gained by Abu Dhabi this year, including being selected as the Middle East’s Leading Business Tourism Destination at the Middle East edition of WTA and Best City Break at the UK’s Selling Travel Agents’ Choice Awards.
Abu Dhabi shined as a premium destination for sports tourism in 2019 after hosting some of the world’s top sporting events, such as the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 and 2018, the first edition of the UAE Tour, the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Special Olympics World Games 2019, the UFC 242 showdown and the Brazil vs South Korea international friendly match. The UAE capital also continues to play host to annual acclaimed sports events including the Formula 1 Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.
Nabeel M. Al Zarouni, Regional Promotions Manager, Middle East and Africa, who received the award on behalf of DCT – Abu Dhabi, said: “We are very grateful to have Abu Dhabi recognised as one of the world’s leading tourism industry awards. This award is a culmination of the hard work that our team and partners have put in to promote tourism in the UAE capital and to position Abu Dhabi as a global hub for business, sports, leisure and culture. We thank the World Travel Awards and look forward to achieving more success within this field in the future.”
Sports tourism has been labelled by the UN World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) as one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism worldwide. Abu Dhabi has been making strides within sports tourism by developing sports facilities and events across the capital. Earlier this year, DCT – Abu Dhabi announced a five-year partnership with the UFC to host annual premier fixtures in the capital as part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week. The emirate has also recently won the rights to host the FINA Short Course World Championship in 2020.
“Sports tourism has been one of the key areas of development for us at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. “This is not limited to hosting premier sports events, but also to developing facilities and attractions across Abu Dhabi to appeal to sports fans, enthusiasts and athletes. Today, Abu Dhabi is equipped with an outstanding array of sports facilities, gyms, and recovery options at its spas and medical centers. Recently, we also have worked with the Department of Transport and Abu Dhabi municipality to improve accessibility and allow runners and cyclists to enjoy practicing their sports across the capital.”
World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Award brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. World Travel Awards™ gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry's key decision makers and figure heads, as well as key trade and consumer media.