Eti­had Air­ways scores with Abu Dhabi Sports deal

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Eti­had Air­ways has teamed up with Abu Dhabi Sports Coun­cil (ADSC) to be­come a col­lec­tive driv­ing force be­hind at­tract­ing global sport­ing events to the emi­rate. The na­tional air­line of the UAE has en­tered a three year deal with ADSC to sup­port sports ac­tiv­i­ties and ma­jor sport­ing events in Abu Dhabi. The strate­gic ini­tia­tive re­places an event- by-event ap­proach and con­trib­utes to a longer term vi­sion for sports in line with Abu Dhabi Vi­sion 2030.

Hareb Al­muhairy, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Cor­po­rate and In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs, Eti­had Air­ways, said: “This agree­ment ce­ments our work to­gether to pro­mote Abu Dhabi as an out­stand­ing des­ti­na­tion for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional sport­ing events. These events bring con­sid­er­able eco­nomic ben­e­fits, pro­vide ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dent and vis­it­ing sports fans and en­cour­age a healthy and ac­tive life­style.”

At least 15 events will be cov­ered un­der the new part­ner­ship, in­clud­ing head­lin­ers such as Jan­uary’s an­nual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Cham­pi­onship and this month’s pro­fes­sional cy­cling race, the Abu Dhabi Tour. It is ex­pected that even­tu­ally, dozens of events will be jointly sup­ported as new sports ini­tia­tives are at­tracted to the emi­rate.

“This deal rep­re­sents a more struc­tured and long-term ap­proach to de­liv­er­ing on our vi­sion of evolv­ing Abu Dhabi into an in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion for sport, com­pet­i­tive­ness and in­ter­na­tional events. Eti­had Air­ways will bring to the ta­ble con­sid­er­able mar­ket­ing clout which will fur­ther build lo­cal, re­gional and global aware­ness of our head­line events,” ex­plained His Ex­cel­lency Aref Al Awani, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, ADSC.

The new part­ner­ship will see Eti­had Air­ways lever­age all of its mar­ket­ing chan­nels to pro­mote ma­jor sport­ing events in the emi­rate. The agree­ment also opens the way for spe­cial ath­lete ap­pear­ances, guest ex­pe­ri­ences and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. Eti­had Cargo will pro­vide sup­port for sports equip­ment, con­tribut­ing to what is ef­fec­tively a bridge to bring the world’s best ath­letes and ac­tion to Abu Dhabi.

An Ox­ford Busi­ness Group study, en­ti­tled The Re­port Abu Dhabi 2016, notes that while Abu Dhabi was largely un­known in the in­ter­na­tional sport­ing world just 10 years ago, it has since sprinted onto the global stage by host­ing high pro­file sport­ing events, such as the For­mula 1 Eti­had Air­ways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Other events have in­cluded the ITU World Triathlon Se­ries, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Fa­tima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open (Ladies Euro­pean Tour).

“The pos­i­tive im­pact of ma­jor sports events on tourism is well doc­u­mented, with ben­e­fits such as air­line pas­sen­ger traf­fic, ho­tel stays and vis­i­tor spend,” added Mr Al­muhairy. “At the same time, we are al­ways look­ing for ways to con­nect and in­spire our guests. Sport pro­vides a won­der­ful plat­form to do this.” Among the other events cov­ered un­der the new part­ner­ship are the FINA 10k Open Wa­ter World Cham­pi­onship, the FINA High-Dive World Cup, Emi­rates Foot­ball Fo­rum and the FIBA Bas­ket­ball 3 x 3 World Cham­pi­onship.

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