Abu Dhabi to Host Next WTTC Global Summit

The Middle East's most cosmopolitan city, Abu Dhabi, will host the 13th World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, taking place April 8-10, 2013, WTTC announced this week in a special ceremony at the 12th WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo.

The event, which WTTC claims is the biggest annual gathering of travel and tourism officials, is expected to attract nearly 1,000 international travel and tourism leaders to the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) capital city.

"In awarding the 13th summit hosting to Abu Dhabi we were conscious of the infectious enthusiasm of its government and industry agencies, the destination's increasing accessibility and standards of capability, and its impressive evidence of green tourism growth as a key development strategy," said WTTC President and CEO David Scowsill.

Added HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, "We will look upon those attending next year's summit as partners, whether existing or potential, and I know this is how our local industry is viewing the event. It is a platform for us to come together, to engage with each other and strike up new ventures, initiatives and relationships."

Al Muhairi said WTTC attendees can look forward to enjoying a host of new attractions when they visit in 2013. "We have many more attractions, new beach resorts on Saadiyat Island, new city center hotels and a new golf resort," he said. "By this time next year, we will have opened another two major resorts — one on a beach, another fronting a mangrove forest — and we will have welcomed more international names to the destination, Accor and Ritz-Carlton among them. Yas Island will also, at the end of this year, open the UAE's largest waterpark."

Along with the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Etihad Airways will serve as an official host of the summit.

"Recent years have seen Abu Dhabi's emergence as a dynamic, contemporary city and global economic powerhouse," said Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan. "Etihad Airways has been central to the success of the UAE government's strategy to build travel and tourism into a major driver of economic development, bringing business and leisure tourists in their millions to the UAE capital. The success of this approach is a strong endorsement of WTTC policy. Today, Abu Dhabi is an exciting place to be and I have no doubt WTTC delegates will enjoy the city's hospitality and be amazed at its energy when they attend the summit in 2013."