Venues & Events
Abu Dhabi wins at the Curragh!
- Category: Venues & Events
- Created on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 13:13
Abu Dhabi wins at the Curragh!Irish agents and operators arrived at The Curragh last weekend to see Abu Dhabi recreated at the racecourse. Literally.
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) created a centrepiece tented Arabian Village to show off some of the emirate’s cultural traditions, including falconry, henna design and calligraphy. Meanwhile, the UAE’s award-winning airline Etihad, wowed visitors by promoting its high-octane association with Formula 1™ motor racing.
The festival’s features were Saturday’s Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas and Sunday’s President of the UAE Cup, a race created in partnership with ADTA.
Said Angela Bates, Trade / MICE Promotion Senior Executive, ADTA: “Wave upon wave of visitors enjoyed our scintillating delivery of Arabian hospitality. Lots told us the emirate is rising high on their customers’ wish-lists, not least because of attractions such as Ferrari World, Yas Marina and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The Curragh became our home away from home for the day - we loved it.”
The industry too was suitably impressed and some, more than a little surprised.
Dominic Burke, Managing Director, Travel Centres added: “I’ve had a wonderful day. It’s strange as an Irishman to admit it, but today’s invitation from Abu Dhabi to The Curragh marks the first time I’ve ever been racing!
“Abu Dhabi’s getting its expansion plans right. The destination appeals because of its proximity to Ireland, the quality of product on the ground and, of course, the weather. The Irish consumer has become tired of traditional destinations such as The Canaries. The problem with a lot of travel products around the world is that they have become too homogenous. What we are finding is that customers increasingly want real and authentic destinations. The Middle East appeals because of the sophistication of the product being created, and its appeal to Western needs. There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s significant potential for Abu Dhabi for the Irish market. Those that value authenticity and the real Arabic experience will love the destination. There’s no doubt that Abu Dhabi in the long run will triumph.”
Paul Kelly of Cassidy Travel agreed: “It’s great to see a tourist board putting time and effort into agency relationships. I’ve enjoyed everything from the ADTA tent, which gave me a great insight into Abu Dhabi culture, through to the entertainment we’ve experienced.”
Pictured: Joy Flanagan, Twohigs Worldwide Holidays and Colm Flanagan, Twohigs Worldwide Holidays, enjoying ADTA’s hospitality and meeting a falcon, in the Arabian Village at The Curragh’s Abu Dhabi Irish Guineas Festival