"Megafund" to attract major entertainment and business event organisers to Abu Dhabi

A specialised fund launched by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, worth AED600 million, has been announced as part of an initiative to enhance Abu Dhabi’s portfolio of world-class leisure and business events and attract global event organisers to the UAE capital.

The new financial stimulus announced by DCT Abu Dhabi will focus exclusively on the development of major entertainment and business activities and festivals in the emirate.

The new initiative is part of the ‘Ghadan 21' programme, which is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy with the ambition of making the emirate one of the best places in the world to do business, invest, live, work, and visit.

Commenting on the event, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "Launching this initiative gives Abu Dhabi new strategic momentum to enhance its local and regional presence. This initiative will work to attract the best entertainment and business event organisers from across the world to consider Abu Dhabi as a place to invest their time and efforts.

"The support provided by the government for tourism, whether in the field of entertainment or business, shows the confidence of the emirate’s wise leadership in DCT Abu Dhabi, both in its projects and plans. The support and constant growth of the tourism sector further bolster the UAE capital’s potential to advance its standing and ability to continue to attract investment in the field."

The new fund will work hand-in-hand with the 'Advantage Abu Dhabi' programme, an additional DCT Abu Dhabi incentive grant scheme which has already scored major successes in stimulating the events sector in Abu Dhabi.

The latest fund will provide multi-purpose financing, including encouraging potential global entertainment partners to anchor leading entertainment content in Abu Dhabi, helping upscale and innovate existing events in the UAE, encouraging leading global entertainment companies and event owners from the region to consider Abu Dhabi as the go-to location to stage events, and helping support innovation in the event and thought leadership sectors.

The newly funded projects, in addition to their relevant initiatives, are expected to increase overseas visitation metrics and further support businesses in the events industry, ultimately yielding an expected economic impact of around AED 1.6 billion. The funded activities are also expected to return as annual events to the UAE capital.

In 2018, Abu Dhabi’s events calendar helped achieve a new record in terms of the number of visitors and hotel guests coming to the emirate, with more than 10 million international visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi and a 3.94 percent increase reported in the number of hotel guests – compared to 2017.