Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADDH) is to invest as much as Dh409m in FTI Group, the third biggest tour operator in Europe.
The partnership will help to boost tourism in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The two companies are teaming up to increase visitor numbers from a variety of important markets in Europe, such as the UK, Germany and France, to Abu Dhabi, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.
ADDH’s chief executive Mohamed Al Suwaidi says that the new partnership will not only result in the creation of more opportunities to enhance the sustainable tourism sector in the capital but will also further develop the emirate’s non-oil economy sectors.
The tourism sector in Abu Dhabi is being developed as part of a large strategy to diversify the capital’s economy beyond just oil revenues.
The tourism push includes attempts to attract outside operators in order to increase air connectivity, with a new airline for the capital being planned by European discount firm Wizz Air.
This will be in direct competition with the new low-cost airline that will be operated by Air Arabia and Etihad Airways.
The latter is now focused on point-to-point traffic that serves Abu Dhabi after cutting unprofitable routes.
The investment in FTI Group by ADDH will help the company to expand its worldwide business outreach as well as its work across destinations management and tour operation.
Al Suwaidi says that FTI Group is already recognised internationally as an important player in the tourism industry in Europe, and with access to over seven million potential passengers, arrivals from Europe to Abu Dhabi will be boosted significantly.
FTI Group, which is based in Munich, is predicting an annual turnover of €4.1bn in the 2019 fiscal year.
The firm employs 12,000 people all over the world and operates in more than 120 destinations.
In 2019 alone, the firm has served eight million customers, and it owns and manages as many as 70 hotels.
Back in 2010, destination management firm Meeting Point Tourism was established by FTI Group within the UAE.
Abu Dhabi is hoping to increase the number of visitors within its business, cruise tourism and cultural sectors.
As many as 1.3 million hotel guests were hosted by the capital in Q3 2019, a rise of 1.7% in comparison to the same period last year, according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).
In the first three quarters of 2019, there were almost 3.8 million hotel guests, an increase of 2.9% on the same period in 2018.
2019’s total figures are expected to hit a record-breaking figure of 5.1 million, a 2% year-on-year rise, DCT says.
ADDH was established as a public stock business last year.
Anyone who is intending to travel to Abu Dhabi or elsewhere in the UAE should ensure that they have a travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance is a great method for visitors to financially safeguard themselves against events such as cancelled flights or lost luggage.