Abu Dhabi promotes ‘safe zone’ concept for large scale events

Abu Dhabi’s successful delivery of UFC Fight Island has highlighted the Emirate’s ability hold safe large-scale events.

UFC Fight Island featured the creation of a world-class ‘safe zone’ for approximately 2,500 people over five weeks on Yas Island, which was locked off and completely secluded from the rest of the Emirate for the five-week period.

In line with the principles of the “Go Safe” certification programme, the health and safety procedures undertaken by event staff were extensive and included COVID-19 testing every 72hrs and 14-day isolation periods.

These strict measures helped achieve a COVID-free sanctuary, with the added benefits of world-class hospitality, including luxury hotels and entertainment facilities, all within the ‘protected bubble’.

The ‘safe zone’ included Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Links Golf Course, Yas Beach, and the Flash Forum, a multi-purpose indoor venue where the fights were staged.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) now plans to evolve this concept for the return of tourism and other events in the coming months, including the scheduled annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of 2020, which will take place within the current ‘safe zone’ perimeter.

“We are extremely proud of the DCT Abu Dhabi-led ‘safe zone’ concept, which enabled us to deliver a comfortable and COVID-19-free bubble for five weeks, cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a safe global destination offering diverse experiences” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Our partnership with UFC Fight Island has allowed us to innovate in setting a new benchmark in creating experiences for the public despite the recent circumstances caused by the pandemic. The lessons we have learned from this event will be carried forward as we continue to create new engaging experiences in a post-COVID-19 world, but at the same time take lessons we can use in other areas of events and tourism.”