Abu Dhabi Markets Itself in Times Square

From time to time on this marketing blog, as a marketing consultant, I like to point out creative, noteworthy marketing and public relations campaigns that we all can learn from. Here’s a good one.

Back in May, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority opened its first office in New York, and thus created a multi-faceted marketing and promotional campaign, which included the takeover of New York City’s Times Square. The goal was to showcase the capital of the United Arab Emirates as the hottest destination in the Middle East. They wanted to bring the taste, sound, sight, touch and scents of the Arab emirate into the center of New York action.

It was titled, “Traveller’s Welcome – a Taste of Abu Dhabi’s Hospitality.” In Times Square, people were regaled with true Abu Dhabi offerings including traditional dates, coffee, henna artists and perfume mixologists.

There were videos showing the emirate’s future progression, with the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The emirate’s national air carrier, Etihad Airways, was also present, showcasing a pop-up experience and holding giveaways.

The opening of the New York office was Abu Dhabi’s first foray into America. US hotel guest nights in Abu Dhabi have been steadily growing, reaching a 16% increase in 2011 over 2010. Based on guest nights, the USA is the emirate’s second international source market for Abu Dhabi.

With the impressive openings of leading hotels and resorts over the last several months, Abu Dhabi is fast emerging as a strong competitor in the travel sector. For more info contact www.visitabudhabi.ae.

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