Yas Island Abu Dhabi is developing into an independent destination on its own, especially with a focus on family and MiCE travel with new attractions like Warner Bros World.
Yas Island is growing in popularity as a destination for Indians travelling to Abu Dhabi, and according to Marina Cipriano, General Manager, Yas Island Abu Dhabi, India is one of the first source markets for Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. “Every year, we see a lot of growth and renewed interest from the Indian market. In fact, visitation from India increased by 20 per cent in 2018. The booking pattern of Indian guests has changed over the years. Earlier, they used to come for a day. The opening of Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi in July 2018 has increased the total number of theme parks to three. Indians now tend to stay for two or three nights to make sure that they make the most of all the theme parks as well as rest of the experiences on the island like Yas Mall, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Beach, Yas Links and everything that can cater to the family,” she claimed.
Indian travellers still prefer to combine the destination with Dubai. Noticing a change in this pattern, Cipriano says they are taking steps to ensure that people stay longer at Yas Island. “We have seven hotels on Yas Island and have recently launched a B2B portal where travel agencies can find packages that include theme parks and rest of the experiences on the island in the future. We are already witnessing an increase in the length of the stay or the number of nights that Indians are choosing for Yas Island as they begin to realise that Abu Dhabi and Yas Island are destinations of their own,” she shared.
Cipriano wants to reinforce their partnership with all the Indian tour operators and travel agencies. “We conducted a few webinars for travel agents in 2018 and we will continue to organise marketing activities in the country. We are also expanding our B2B portal and we give to our partners the possibility to connect with APIs to integrate packages in their own offerings. We are simultaneously working for the MiCE potential because we have a one-of-a-kind destination with a lot of offerings unique for MiCE events,” she said.
In order to tap this segment, Yas Island is strengthening its team in India. “With our presence in Delhi and Mumbai, we recently opened an office in Bengaluru. We have a team on the ground that is meeting with trade partners to explore and understand their necessities and share all the relevant information on the destination to customise a MiCE event they want,” she shared.