ALL EYES ON ABU DHABI
NEW DEVELOPMENTS AREN’T THE ONLY thing on the rise in Abu Dhabi – it’s also just been named the fastest-growing destination city in the Middle East and Africa, according to the 2017 Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index – ranking fourth globally, and up 18.9% on 2016’s visitor figures. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism said: “Last year was a record breaking year for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, welcoming 4.4 million visitors. Our year-on-year growth rate has been strong and by the end of 2017 we are looking to reach our target of over 4.9 million visitors to the Emirate.” The numbers are hardly surprising, when you consider the current boon in desirable drawcards for visitors to the UAE capital. The recent announcement of the Louvre Abu Dhabi – touted as one of the most ambitious cultural projects in the world, and set to welcome visitors to a vast medina playing host to artefacts and artworks spanning the spectrum of human life on earth – is just one bright star. The 2017 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Friday 24 – Sunday 26 November) is set to welcome hordes of Formula 1 fans to its spectacular track setting on Yas Island, renowned for its innovative, anti-clockwise circuit and state-of-the-art grandstands and facilities on the waterfront setting. Foodies will meanwhile be licking their lips in anticipation of a must-do visit to La Petite Maison’s new venue in The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. The French-inspired indoor space will seat 80 guests, while a further 60 diners can savour spectacular skyline views along with their French-Mediterranean-via-Ligurian-Italyinspired dishes on the outdoor terrace.