The first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 7 has successfully packed-up from the Middle East and shifted to its original base- India, cricket aficionados experienced a action-packed opening to the tournament in the Middle East. Many cricket lovers- this season- also travelled across the border to get a glimpse of theirs favourite stars perform at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium at Abu Dhabi. Thousands of travellers took this opportunity and visited the local attractions along with the glamourous IPL matches.
Speaking exclusively with Financial Express Online, Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said, “The hosting in Abu Dhabi of some of the IPL’s seventh season games has brought considerable destination exposure for the emirate within India with the screening of matches on prime time channels and visits by many of the players and teams to key destination attractions, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Yas Waterworld aqua park. Considerable social media engagement has resulted from the players also sharing their experiences. In addition, many cricket followers who have not been to this destination before have now had the chance to sample it and we hope will return as holidaymakers in the future.”
Speaking about the Indian tourist arrivals Dhaheri added, “We do anticipate a surge in arrivals from Indian hotel guests in our April hotel performance report which will be out late May.”
Today, Abu Dhabi has become a key hub for sporting events and also has built many international standard infrastructure to support the same. All the sporting events which Abu Dhabi organises attracts a number of sports enthusiasts from around the globe, thus increasing tourism.
Dhaheri said, “Abu Dhabi does organise a number of world-class sporting events including the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, in December/January we are hosting the Volvo Ocean Race fleet with in-port races and sailing regattas and in January, Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. All these events attract a lot of visitors from across the world.”