The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council commissioned a multi-sectoral economic planning study for the Al Gharbia province, the country’s largest. Located to the north of Abu Dhabi City, Al Gharbia is bounded by the coast to and a lengthy desert border with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The province contains the country’s oil reserves and includes Liwa Oasis, the ancestral home of the Abu Dhabi Ruling Family.
Al Gharbia is undeveloped in tourism terms and is the location for only a handful of hotels focussing on the business market. Leisure demand is embryonic despite the region possessing extensive prehistorical and archaeological sites, is the source of much Bedouin heritage and has a rich land and seascape for the development of adventure tourism.
The study developed a conceptual tourism strategy around the cultural and natural heritage available, identified a range of accommodation and product development opportunities in heritage conservation, tourist trails, interpretation and museum building. Visitor and accommodation forecasts were made and the distribution of new hotel rooms was also identified.