Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s Mega Events Fund revealed as part of the Ghadan 21 economic programme
A specialised AED600 million ($163 million) fund has been launched by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) as part of an initiative to enhance Abu Dhabi’s portfolio of world-class leisure and business events.
The new Mega Events Fund is part of the Ghadan 21 programme, which is working to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economy, a statement said, adding that 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.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary 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 bolsters the UAE capital’s potential to advance its standing and ability to continue to attract investment in the field.”
The new fund will work 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 best-in-class events in the UAE, and encouraging global entertainment companies and event owners from the region to consider Abu Dhabi as a go-to location to stage events.
The new funded projects are expected to increase overseas visitation metrics and yield an expected economic impact of around AED1.6 billion.
DCT Abu Dhabi said it has already identified several potential partners and beneficiaries for the new fund, including global promoters and touring acts that could potentially make Abu Dhabi their base of operations.
Closer to home, a number of local partners including Miral, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Live Nation International, Informa Middle East, Flash Entertainment, IMG International, Messe Frankfurt Exhibitions and Conferences and Yas Marina Circuit have expressed interest in partnering with the fund.
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.