Kuwaiti Airline, Dept of Culture and Tourism ink landmark deal

KUWAIT: Travelers in Kuwait will soon be able to travel directly to Al Ain, Abu Dhabi thanks to a newly established flight route by Jazeera Airways. Supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the independent airline announced the new direct flights to Al Ain during a press conference yesterday.

Abu Dhabi has witnessed tremendous growth in tourism from Kuwait over recent years. Between 2018 and 2019, Abu Dhabi registered a 26.3 percent increase in the number of hotel guests from Kuwait, in addition to hosting over 25,000 Kuwaiti hotel guests between January and September 2019 with an average length of stay of around three days per guest. Through establishing the new direct routes, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi hopes to encourage travelers from Kuwait to visit the city of Al Ain in a move to boost tourism to the various regions of the UAE capital.

"This deal marks a new chapter in tourism between Kuwait and Abu Dhabi" said Nabeel M Al Zarouni, Regional Promotions Manager, Middle East and Africa at DCT Abu Dhabi during the conference. "Proximity, volume and strong cultural ties between the UAE and Kuwait make it one of the most important source markets for us in Abu Dhabi. We would like to thank Jazeera Airways for their hard work and collaboration over the past months to bring this pioneering deal to life, and we will be working closely with them in the future to encourage Kuwaiti travellers to discover the UAE gem that is Al Ain, with the help of the new flight routes," he said.

"With its stunning views, rich heritage and breathtaking nature, we see Al Ain as the ideal destination for family-friendly retreats and cultural excursions. Visitors to Al Ain can enjoy nature hikes, sightseeing, visits to some of the world's oldest architectural wonders, and unique Emirati heritage experiences. Whether it is curious explorers, adventurers, families, or culture enthusiasts, we truly believe that various types of travelers would thoroughly enjoy visiting Al Ain" Zarouni added.

Andrew Ward, Jazeera Airways Vice President-Marketing and Product, said: "We are proud to be operating our second destination in the United Arab Emirates and provide our customers with more choices to explore and enjoy the hidden gems of our region. We are committed at Jazeera Airways to connecting passengers from across our network to new destinations while ensuring we continue to provide them with value fares and a reliable service throughout their journey with our airline. We look forward to flying to Al Ain International Airport with three flights a week starting from December 8."

Asking about the flights schedule, Ward said: "Flights dates are based on our overall network and also targets traffic from other countries in the Middle East and Asia, connecting passengers from these countries to Al Ain through Kuwait. We will start operating three flights a week, and based on demand, we are looking forward to the opportunity to increase our services."

Located approximately 160 km east of Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain - the Oasis City - is the emirate's heritage heartland and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited settlements. It is home to UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage sites, a wealth of forts, oases, historic buildings and archaeological sites, and is a showcase of the country's unique heritage and history. Set among mountain heights, lush oases and towering palm plantations, the city also boasts a range of accommodation and conference options, an adventure water parkland an award-winning zoo and wildlife park.

DCT Abu Dhabi actively supports heritage festivals in Al Ain region, including the annual Traditional Handicrafts Festival. A significant achievement for the protection of Intangible Heritage has been the successful inscription of eight elements on the UNESCO Lists of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the work and dossiers for six of which were led by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The inscribed heritage elements are Falconry, Al Sadu (weaving), Al Ayyala (traditional group performance), Al Taghrooda (poetry), Gahwa (Arabic coffee), Majlis (council gathering), Al Azi and Al Razfa (both traditional performing arts), all of which visitors can experience at the city's cultural attractions. Al Ain's cultural offering will also soon be bolstered by Bait Mohammed Bin Khalifa House, Jebel Hafit Desert Park, Murabba'a Fort and the Al Ain Museum.

By Nawara Fattahova