Rasha Tubaila (Abu Dhabi)
Aref Hamad Al-Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, confirmed that Abu Dhabi today has managed to achieve a seamless integration between sports and tourism by organizing and hosting international sporting events, championships and events that help attract tourists from different countries. . . countries of the world and promote domestic tourism and thus complement the national economy and make Abu Dhabi the center of attention. through world sport.
Al-Awan, in an interview with Al-Ittihad on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which ended last week, revealed that the number of international and global sporting events organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in 2022 has increased. this year, up to 10 events will be organized, and 14 international sporting events.
Activities organized by the board in recent years include the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Triathlon World Cup Final, ADNOC Abu Dhabi Spartan World Championship and Marathon, Abu Dhabi Women’s Open and Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Championship. In the next years.
Al-Awani said, “There is a lot of interest in sports tourism in the country, particularly in Abu Dhabi, where we want to attract international and major sporting events that attract direct visitors and spectators from all over the world. Through these events, Abu Dhabi is putting the world in the spotlight.”
Media and advertising revenue
He emphasized: “Our focus is on selecting these global events due to their huge media and advertising revenue, and the indirect revenue generated by Abu Dhabi for the national economy, at a time when the importance of direct economic revenue comes from visitors, fans and players in hotels and their expenses and investments made in the preparation and organization of events. This helps to attract visitors from abroad and the country who spend a lot of time at these events and tournaments and at the same time participate in the tours. in various tourist and cultural destinations in the emirate.
Al-Awani noted, “For example, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, held at the Yas Links Course on Yas Island from 19th to 22nd January, attracted nearly 70,000 visitors and spectators in 4 days. In addition to great adherence by the television media, which helps to boost the tourist flow.
And Al-Awani said: “We chose Ya Island to host the golf tournament due to the tourist development, modernity and integration between its different destinations, in addition to the fact that sustainability goes beyond the guidelines of wise leadership to make this year the year of sustainability … like the mangroves and nature on the island.”
He added: “The island stands out as a unique and attractive tourist destination, with modern facilities, cities, entertainment and sports venues and advanced infrastructure such as the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the Formula 1 race, and golf courses which increase viability. economic integration between all these factors”.
Aref Al-Awani said, “Ensuring a healthy community and quality of life for the population is also one of the most important aspects taken into consideration when organizing sporting events, such as the community events that take place in Abu Dhabi, especially alongside sports. events and tournaments, we offer them several options to play different sports at the same time.” It’s time for them to spend quality time with their family, which drives domestic tourism.”
and Al-Awan Shor: “Examples of community activities and events include events outside the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, where recreational, family and sporting activities were organized for guests, as well as a community race organized at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. . and community sports activities at the Canal Project and Qurum Walk on Jubail Island. Thus, visitors can enjoy sports activities and at the same time experience different types of cultural, recreational and environmental tourism.
an integrated experience
Aref Al-Awan emphasized that the partnership between sports and tourism and cultural facilities is an ideal integration that allows visitors from inside and outside the emirate to experience all the attractions, tourist destinations, activities and events that Abu Dhabi encompasses. that “whatever the reason for a tourist’s visit to Abu Dhabi, be it business or leisure tourism, he faces the agenda Abu Dhabi is rich in tourist, cultural and entertainment sites and attractions, while participating in events and sporting events. Implementation of sports activities as part of community events as an integrated process for successful tourism in Abu Dhabi.
According to him, we have a calendar full of events and sports competitions this year, as we continue to attract several international and international events, both in the tourist season and in the summer season, because we want to fight to host international championships and continue to attract new events” .
Al-Awani emphasized: “We have the best ingredients to attract international sports events and championships from the best airports, highways and transport infrastructure, hotels and various tourist destinations, providing players and fans with an ideal and unique experience”.
He emphasized: “Our wise leadership guidelines are for fans who come to sporting events to have an integrated experience from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave the country. That’s why we are ready to cooperate with interested tour partners. Authorities should organize rich tourist programs for visitors and public of sporting events, which confirms the interrelationship between sport and tourism and all stakeholders.
Al-Awani said: “Sport is also an opportunity to hold meetings between businessmen, companies and governments, which benefits the national economy.”
Al-Awani confirmed, “We are recording great economic income from international sports events as we recorded revenues in excess of US$700 million in 2017 and we expect these revenues to continue to grow more and more.”
On the Year of Sustainability, Al-Awan said, “Sustainability is one of the key elements we focus on when organizing sports tournaments, as we work on initiatives to reduce plastic use and reduce our carbon footprint.”
Source: Al Ittihad
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