ABTA, UK’s travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators selling £32 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year ABTA, the UK's travel agents and tour operators association announced that Abu Dhabi (represented by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority) and Etihad Airways, will host the association’s 2016 travel convention. 

The forthcoming event will take place from 10 to 12 October, 2016 at the Yas Viceroy Hotel, Yas Island. The selection of Abu Dhabi was made at the 2015 ABTA Travel Convention in Costa Navarino, Greece on the 12th Oct 2015.

This will be the first time that the travel convention has been held in Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways, the convention's official airline, will fly over 500 participants from the airline's gateways in the United Kingdom – London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

In 2014 and 2015, year-to-date, Etihad Airways carried approximately 900,000 passengers on its flights from the United Kingdom.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways’ vice president for UAE commercial, said: “ABTA’s decision to choose Abu Dhabi for the 2016 Travel Convention is true recognition of the enormous efforts the Emirate has placed on developing Abu Dhabi into a progressive world class hub of tourism, culture and tolerance. 
 
“As the world-leading national airline of the UAE, we are delighted to be able to welcome the movers and shakers of the United Kingdom’s travel industry to our cosmopolitan home, and in doing so highlight and celebrate the great importance of the British tourism market to Etihad Airways and its partners.”

Noel Josephides, ABTA chairman, added: "I am delighted that Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi have agreed to host the 2016 Travel Convention. 

Abu Dhabi leads the world in state-of-the-art luxurious hotels and facilities, and in the Yas Viceroy we will be lucky enough to be able to enjoy one of the most iconic buildings in Abu Dhabi."

Sultan Al Dhaheri, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) acting executive director for tourism, said: “Hosting the 2016 ABTA Travel Convention in Abu Dhabi is testament to the great efforts the Emirate has taken to establish itself as a world-leading and progressive tourism, sporting and cultural hub. 

Welcoming the leaders of the British travel industry here is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our diverse and colorful home through the UK’s sophisticated and experienced travel trade.”