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12933 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  m-man

The Western Region Development Council (WRDC) -- the central coordinating body leading development and promoting opportunity in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, today announced the new name for the region as part of its plans to encourage social and economic growth within the region as an integrated part of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The region will now be known as Al Gharbia in both English and Arabic.

The new identity for the region was developed following extensive market research across the UAE, GCC and internationally, that involved not only the local residents but also prospective tourists and investors.

The council is also reiterating its four key goals for the region, which are namely economic and social development of the region’s residents, enhancement of infrastructure, promotion of investment and improvement of enterprises; which they intend to achieve through aggressive marketing and promotion of the region.

WRDC worked hand in hand with the Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi to develop Al Gharbia as a sub brand of Abu Dhabi, unveiled last November – together making the overall brand of the Emirate stronger.

This re-branding exercise puts Al Gharbia on the world map with its own unique identity, whilst remaining a fundamental part of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Al Gharbia continues to retain its traditional heritage values, culture, and Bedouin origin whilst aggressively marketing itself as a region with untapped potential for tourism and investment opportunities.

The name ‘Al Gharbia’ preserves the true spirit and cultural values of the region cleverly bringing a sense of nostalgia and belonging to the local residents who hold the name dearly.

H.E. Mohamed Bin Azzan Al Mazrouei, WRDC Director General, said: “Al Gharbia is a unique part of the UAE - where the desert meets the sea and renowned for its authentic heritage – the Bedouin generosity and hospitality. The name Al Gharbia not only aligns itself with the core values of the region, but the brand also gives more credibility for future development, making it attractive for businesses, investment and tourism opportunities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi for their guidance and direction enabling us to launch Al Gharbia today. Our new identity gives us depth, consistency, value and ownership which will be significant factors towards achieving our goal to develop the region socially and economically,” concluded Al Mazrouei.

An estimated Dhs98bn of investments have already been announced for infrastructure, tourism, and economic development projects in the region. WRDC intends to enable economic growth and raise the standards of living for Al Gharbia’s residents by working with its government and non-government partners to develop Al Gharbia and its infrastructure aiming to increase connectivity to and from the region.

Construction, Public Administration, Agriculture, and Oil and Gas are the main high level economic activities in Al Gharbia. The region boasts the largest oil refineries in the UAE and a developed agricultural industry, including the largest and most fertile farms in the country.

Al Gharbia covers a staggering 60,000 square kilometres; 71% of the total land mass of the UAE. It is comprised of seven main cities; Madinat Zayed, Mirfa, Liwa, Ghayathi, Sila, Ruwais and Dalma Island, and is close to the borders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Key cities that one can visit for tourism include; Mirfa, Liwa, Dalma Island and Sir Bani Yas. Mirfa is known for its natural harbour, where dolphins, turtles, fish and other marine life can be found. Liwa is home to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world and is the base camp for the annual UAE Desert Challenge.

Dalma Island is one of the premier historical islands for tourism in the country with its rich history of pearl diving and Sir Bani Yas, scheduled to open in October 2008, is to feature a nature reserve, serene escapes, and an Arabian Wildlife Park.
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Airport Plan for Al Gharbia
ABU DHABI // A new airport is to link the isolated Al Gharbia region with the rest of the country as part of ambitious plans to boost tourism in the area.

Spectacular resorts are being developed in the westernmost region of Abu Dhabi emirate to revitalise one of the country’s most underdeveloped areas.

Some of the attractions will be up to 250km from Abu Dhabi International Airport. However, the company behind many of the projects intends to set up the country’s first dedicated internal air-shuttle service.

Al Gharbia, previously known as the Western Region, is a vast area comprising 83 per cent of the emirate and 71 per cent of the entire country, and large parts of it are difficult to reach by car. Efforts to revitalise the region, chiefly through the development of exclusive holiday resorts on Sir Bani Yas and Dalma islands and the Qasr al Sarab desert outpost, mean up to 250,000 visitors a year can be expected, with many arriving at Abu Dhabi airport.

Lee Tabler, the chief executive of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), said there had been discussions with Etihad and other airlines about an air-bridge between the capital and Al Gharbia.

“We are studying types of aircraft – water-borne aircraft, pontoon aircraft and Fokker aircraft, which can land on water and also fly people into the Empty Quarter,” he said.

In an area rich with natural and cultural assets, it is not clear whether visitors who used the proposed airport would be allowed to visit areas other than the new hotel resorts.

“The people of the region are always at the forefront of our plans,” said Mohamed bin Azzan al Mazrouei, the director general of the Western Region Development Council (WRDC).

“We also work closely with our various government and non-government partners to push infrastructure development including road, rail and air – aiming to make the region easily accessible for those wanting to live, work, invest and visit Al Gharbia.”

There were a number of “great projects lined up for the region”, he said, including those announced by TDIC. “To ensure success, through various meetings with the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Aviation and Abu Dhabi Airport Company, we are all working collaboratively to ensure that Al Gharbia is more accessible.”

It had not yet been decided where the airport should be built. Although it would have to be large enough to accommodate the anticipated boom in tourists, it would not be the size of the Abu Dhabi airport.

Some of the most exclusive hotels in the country will be built in the northern coastal region of Al Gharbia. At a cost of Dh11.5 billion (US$3.1bn), the Sir Bani Yas, Dalma and Desert islands developments are all expected to be completed by 2010 and will offer a variety of facilities, including seven-star hotel facilities, secluded island breaks and the opportunity to see some of the country’s rarest animals in the wild.

The first hotel is due to open in September. The Qasr al Sarab resort near Liwa will feature a five-star hotel, villas, a spa with hammam healing baths and an observatory. Mr Tabler said the foundations of the resort had already been built.

Although the region generates 60 per cent of the wealth of the country through its considerable oil reserves, very little, up to now, has been invested in the area.
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It will be interesting to see how this whole area is developed I think that I m probably more interested as a tourist than someone who might buy out there.
There are a few interesting facts about the area posted here I ve yet to see any pictures though. Guess that I ll have to keep checking skyscrapercity for those
I would love to go to that area while it's still 'empty'... Hope they don't go banana and mess up the whole area, but on the other hand I'm glad that AD are utlising all the land that is available there
thread title also needs to be changed, thanks!
Abu Dhabi's TCA Lauches Al Gharbia Visitor Map

ABU DHABI, Aug 29 (Bernama) -- Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in consultation with its stakeholders and the Western Region Development Council, has produced a map of Al Gharbia (Western Region), which enables visitors to Abu Dhabi Emirate to easily explore some of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) most dramatic desert and coastal scenery.

Spanning an incredible two-thirds of the emirate, Al Gharbia's expansive desert, oasis towns, secluded beaches, island experiences, impressive coastline and plethora of diverse experiences have been collated into a compact, visitor-friendly, fold-out map, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

"Al Gharbia is becoming increasingly popular with visitors, and our new map features all the region's key places of interest and highlights the region's fascinating festivals and cultural events," said Saeed Al Dhaheri, Customer Service Section Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi.

Al Gharbia highlights include traditional festivals and cultural events such as the annual Liwa Date Festival and December's Al Dhafra Camel Festival, which is one of the world's largest desert heritage events and includes the world's only camel beauty contest.

"The map will help spread the message that there's much more to see and do in Al Gharbia. In fact visitors may be surprised by the area's sheer diversity. We want to help attract more visitors to the region's festivals and attractions, and increase average-length-of-stay at its hotels," added Al Dhaheri.
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