Abu Dhabi expands tourism reach with key ITB deals

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, signs MoU with Schmetterling International

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) signed an agreement with Europe’s largest medium-sized, independent and owner-operated tourism sales company, Schmetterling International, to host a major annual conference in Abu Dhabi.

Also, collaboration with Hotelbeds, part of HBX Group, has been extended into a third year, providing access to thousands of travel agencies in 50 targeted markets.

Signed at ITB Berlin this year, these two agreements will promote Abu Dhabi as a global destination, with new emphasis on Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions, for European travellers and event organisers.

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi is a year-round destination for visitors seeking to experience culture, heritage, nature, entertainment and top-tier hospitality. The agreements signed at ITB reflect the unwavering confidence in the appeal of Abu Dhabi, from the excitement of the city to Al Ain’s heritage treasures and Al Dhafra’s captivating dunes. They mark a significant step forward in attracting more European travellers and events to Abu Dhabi. We look forward to our collaborative journey ahead to share Abu Dhabi with the world.”



Schmetterling International will host its annual conference in the emirate this year. This large-scale event, with as many as 550 German travel agents, is expected to generate immediate positive results for summer sales and pave the way for attracting more German tourists, amplified by Schmetterling’s extensive network of travel agencies and technology customers across Europe.

Scheduled to take place from May 8 to 12, Schmetterling International’s annual conference will be held for the first time at two locations — in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi city – allowing participants to experience the unique offerings of both vibrant cities. The event will feature congress programmes, travel fairs, workshops, and excursions while providing a comprehensive overview of the emirate’s tourism landscape. Collaboration with Schmetterling will include direct engagement with the agents to establish future promotional initiatives and measure the impact on bookings.



The agreement with Hotelbeds, leading B2B TravelTech online distributor for wholesalers, supply partners and destinations, has been extended into a third year. The collaboration includes developing targeted campaigns to increase Abu Dhabi’s visibility and appeal among Hotelbeds’ extensive network of travel agents, ultimately leading to a rise in tourist preference for the destination.

To date, the joint efforts have significantly increased the number of hotel guests in the emirate booking through thousands of travel agencies across more than 50 markets.

The campaign with Hotelbeds will highlight Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage, including UNESCO sites and world-class attractions. This focus on cultural richness is expected to not only attract more visitors but also extend their stay in the region. To achieve these goals, DCT Abu Dhabi and Hotelbeds will engage in various joint initiatives, including sales engagements and marketing campaigns customised for different seasons and markets. Additionally, Abu Dhabi will be introduced to thousands of travel agents, further enhancing their understanding of the destination’s offerings.