Etihad Airways has announced an agreement with MCI Middle East, one of the largest professional conference organisers operating globally, to be the official travel and destination management partner of its key events in 2021 and 2022.

In a welcome boost to the UAE’s events industry, the partnership will see the Abu Dhabi carrier offer speaker and travel management services for all conferences serviced by MCI in Abu Dhabi.

It means all exhibitors, speakers and visitors will be able purchase Etihad’s full conference package at a special rate, including event entrance, flights, hotel accommodation and ground transportation.

“2020 has been a year like no other, and many conferences and events have turned to virtual formats over in-person conferences,” said Hareb Al Muhairy, Senior Vice President Destination and Leisure Management, Etihad Aviation Group.

“We’re looking forward to working with MCI over the next two years as COVID-19 restrictions are eased and we begin to see events taking place on the ground in our home, Abu Dhabi.”

Ajay Bhojwani, Managing Director, MCI Middle East, said Abu Dhabi had “strengthened its position as a world-class MICE destination globally” over the past decade and now was the time to “push harder” to bring in more audiences to the emirate.

He added: “As economies open globally, we think we need to put forward a new offering that will help travellers choose to visit Abu Dhabi before any other destination. And to make this happen, there cannot be a better partner than Etihad Airways who will look after our guests right from when they board the aircraft till they head back home.”