Abu Dhabi, Wednesday, 2 October: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) invited a group of 113 Chinese professionals from the key Chinese seaport of Dalian in Liaoning province to visit the UAE capital this week, to experience some of the emirate’s unique cultural offerings.
The group experienced two full days of sightseeing, taking in key attractions such as Qasr al Watan, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the many offerings on Yas Island. As part of the trip, the delegation had the chance to experience Emirati hospitality by being invited to a traditional Emirati majlis at Majlis Al Mushrif by Visit Makan, a group of licensed Emirati tour guides who engage guests in local culture, customs, and traditions.
“Hosting the Dalian delegation for two days in Abu Dhabi gave us the opportunity to showcase the very best of what the UAE capital has to offer to our number one overseas market, especially the experience of the Emirati majlis, which is one of the inscribed elements on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, where Emiratis open up their homes to welcome their guests from everywhere in the world,” said Saeed Al Saeed, Destination Marketing Director at DCT Abu Dhabi. “We hope that we have left the group with the very best impression about our emirate, and that they share the great memories and immersive experiences once they return home, which we hope will translate into further boosts in visitation metrics from the People’s Republic”.
“It was a great pleasure to welcome the delegation from China, and to have the chance to introduce them to some of the heritage and deep-rooted history of the emirate through a traditional majlis,” said Aaesha AlShehyari, one of the founders of Visit Makan. “Extending Arabian hospitality is part of our culture, and I hope the group were inspired to find out more about our emirate after their experience.”
The majlis has been recognised for its intrinsic cultural value by UNESCO, who inscribed the traditional ‘cultural and social space’ onto its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015.
The latest official report on visitation to the UAE capital released by DCT Abu Dhabi shows that hotel guest numbers for the Chinese market posted double-digit year-on-year growth in June 2019, with guests from China rising by 21.8% compared to the corresponding month in 2018. China is the largest overseas market for the UAE capital, and in 2018, more than 400,000 Chinese travellers visited Abu Dhabi, an increase of 8% when compared to the previous year.
“This has been a truly unforgettable journey,” said Zheng Yanying, a member of the delegation “It was great to experience how warm and hospitable Abu Dhabi is and what the city has to offer. I will definitely be sharing this encounter with my friends at home.”
About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of the Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.