Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is projecting a 15% growth in business related visitors to the emirate this year rising by 200,000 on last year to 1.5 million – some 225,000 of which are likely to be in the destination as part of the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) segment.

The forecast comes in the run up to Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the fifth and largest Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings exhibition which runs at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre from March 28-30.

ADTA estimates  that last year, travel for business as a percentage of Abu Dhabi hotel guests was 72% or approximately 1.3 million of the 1.8 million who stayed in the emirate’s 115 hotels and hotel apartments  - of this, some 215,000 guests arrived specifically for MICE activities

“Business related tourism will continue to deliver the lion’s share of demand in 2011 growing to 1.5 million hotel guests. MICE tourism which includes international and domestic visitors, estimated at 225,000 hotel guests will deliver around 15% of this demand,” said Lawrence Franklin, Director Strategy & Policy ADTA.