The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is marking the first anniversary of its Abu Dhabi Specialists E-learning Programme by introducing new modules and markets for the innovative training scheme.

The programme, which was launched just over a year ago as part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, saw all forms of physical promotional offers, workshops and training courses shifted onto virtual platforms. It was designed to educate travel industry professionals, including front-liners, product managers, tour operators, travel agencies and home-based agents, about ways to promote Abu Dhabi effectively.

Launched in May 2020, the e-learning has been successfully rolled out across the markets in 17 different countries and in seven different languages. So far, 13,670 applicants have registered for the course and more than 7,000 have graduated as 'Abu Dhabi Specialists’.

“We are really heartened by the strong support from the global travel trade for this programme and, as such, we will be launching additional learning modules and expanding into new markets in Switzerland and Israel,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Marketing and Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi. 

“Despite the last year being an extremely challenging period for the tourism sector, through this innovative programme we have still been able to connect with travel professionals around the world and help them understand why Abu Dhabi is such an extraordinary destination. As we open up to travellers from across the world once again, we are confident the Programme has increased awareness of Abu Dhabi’s amazing offerings, which in turn will lead to increased sales activity and lengths of stay for visitors.”

The investment in training and upskilling confirms DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to support the travel trade in key source markets to provide quality advice and better service to customers considering Abu Dhabi as a travel destination. 

The programme is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Travel Trade Marketing Plan ensure the travel specialists are equipped with the right knowledge and tools to sell. Besides the training aspects, the specialists receive regular communications on the destination, invitations to events, and access to marketing toolkits.

As Abu Dhabi’s reputation as leisure destination continues to grow, travellers considering the destination can utilise the planning expertise offered by travel agents. By completing the programme, the agents gain the knowledge and tools needed to aid selling efforts and increase professionalism, which leads to better revenue opportunities, especially after understanding the varied product offerings of Abu Dhabi.

The enhanced programme will include three new modules to equip agents with knowledge about:

- Expo 2020 Dubai: Opening on 1 October 2021, this six-month celebration of creativity, innovation and culture will unite the whole world in one place. Expo 2020 will invite visitors from across the globe to join in the making of a new world as they discover life-changing innovations that will have a meaningful, positive impact on our planet and its people. Placed strategically between Abu Dhabi and Dubai city centre, travel trade will understand why packaging Expo 2020 with Abu Dhabi’s product offerings will be a draw for their clients.   

The Expo 2020 Dubai module provides a comprehensive overview, including the history of World Expos, Expo 2020’s incredible programming, including events, art, culture and world-class entertainment from more than 190 participating countries, as well as breath-taking architecture and sensational gastronomy. Users will learn about the Thematic Pavilions and Expo’s over-arching purpose of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ as well as its business and MICE offering at an array of venues, including Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020. They will also discover how Expo’s legacy will live on in the form of District 2020, a model global community of the future, after Expo closes its doors on 31 March, 2022.  

- Abu Dhabi as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) destination: This module highlights the unique venues that Abu Dhabi has to offer for MICE groups, such as Qasr Al Hosn, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi and Etihad Arena. It also provides ideas for the different MICE activities that teams can experience during their stay in Abu Dhabi, such as kayaking at Louvre Abu Dhabi or through the mangroves, teambuilding at the Yas Island theme parks, pearl diving, rooftop walks or zip lines at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, just to name a few.  

- Abu Dhabi’s Culture assets and programmes: The module will aim to raise knowledge and understanding of Abu Dhabi’s culturalattractions and programmes by covering the history of the different culture assets, visitor experience and what to expect when visiting, as well as highlighting cultural events such as the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, among others.

The programme is available in 17 markets (USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Russia & CIS, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar) and in seven different languages (Arabic, English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin).  

The new modules will be progressively rolled out in different markets and languages, and the Abu Dhabi specialists will be accorded the ‘advanced’ certification upon completion. More information about the Abu Dhabi Specialists Programme is available at