• A panoramic view of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi.

A panoramic view of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi. (Photo : Getty Images)

To promote the emirate to Chinese tourists, Abu Dhabi will join a tourism roadshow in China scheduled for May. The roadshow will have stops with stops in Chengdu, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Nanjing.

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A delegation of hotel, attraction and tour operators will be headed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) on a journey to the four Chinese cities in May.

Chinese hotel guests in the emirates increased by 31 percent in 2016 to 231,916 compared to the previous year. This has made China as the third largest international tourist market following India and United Kingdom. Abu Dhabi is hoping to draw 600,000 Chinese tourists by 2021.

Meanwhile, a TCA Abu Dhabi-led delegation also joins at the three-day China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market in Beijing. Among the delegates are executives promoting Yas Marina Circuit, Etihad Airways, Nirvana Travel and Tourism, Omeir Holidays and Yas Island.

The number of Chinese tourists has increased after they have received a visa on arrival status in November.

According to Justine Thomas-Butler, the head of meetings, incentive and events division at Arabian Adventures, "China’s visa on arrival makes it a lot easier [for tour operators], particularly for short lead events four weeks out and not having to make visas definitely makes life easier."

Omeir Travel Agency is anticipated to take 500 visitors to Abu Dhabi this year. The Abu Dhabi-based company is directed to high-end tourists and golfing packages.

Obtaining a Welcome Chinese Certification from China Tourism Academy has been the priority of a number of tourist destinations and hotels in Abu Dhabi. Among those who have the certification are Yas Waterworld, Al Ain’s Wadi Adventure, Zayed Sports City and Souk Qaryat Al Beri.

Chinese visitors seek establishments with Mandarin-speaking staff members, Chinese food on the menu, and the ability to accept China Union Pay bank cards.

Etihad Airways will launch its B787 Dreamliner for its daily Beijing-Abu Dhabi flight. The aviation company operates 28 flights per week to Chinese destinations including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

Abu Dhabi hopes to attract more Chinese visitors through the tourism roadshow in China this coming May.