New York's Times Square, one of the world's busiest pedestrian streets, will next week come alive with an "Abu Dhabi Experience", it was announced on Wednesday.
Five key aspects of Abu Dhabi's culture, heritage and hospitality will be demonstrated through the experience, which will run from May 16-19, to mark the launch of the New York-based US office of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
"Our aim is to take the taste, sound, sight, touch and scents of Abu Dhabi to one of the centres of New York's action," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
The authority is erecting a 60ft x 40ft tent in Times Square with areas ready to 'transport' visitors to Abu Dhabi, which the USA's influential Travel & Leisure magazine recently described as "fast developing into the hottest destination in the Middle East".
"In the taste area, which will look like a traditional majlis, visitors will get to sample our traditional coffee and dates and attendants will explain the hospitality culture found in the Emirati home and business," said Al Nuaimi.
He added that the touch area will feature falcons with their trainer, a henna lady and will be draped in carpets, curtains and Arabian lanterns to give the feel of walking into an old time souk.
The scent area will mimic a traditional perfume shop. A mixologist will be on hand to explain the different scents and their origins and guests will take home samples of customised perfumes.
The sight and sound section will feature music from Abu Dhabi while a large LED screen covering one wall will show a video depicting the future of the emirate.
"We anticipate making quite an impression," said Al Nuaimi. "Abu Dhabi will certainly have its name up in lights in the US that evening."
He said five key tour operators in the US have also created new packages around Abu Dhabi which they intend to push out in conjunction at the launch while Etihad Airways will also use the event to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their services out of New York City.
In addition, for one month select NYC taxis will have Abu Dhabi branding and destination video playing on their screens.
Heightened air connectivity between the USA and Abu Dhabi is on the cards with Etihad planning to launch daily, non-stop services between the US capital Washington DC and Abu Dhabi International Airport from March 31 next year.
The airline currently operates daily, non-stop flights from JFK New York and Chicago to Abu Dhabi International.
In the first quarter of this year, 21,566 US nationals stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments ranking the country the emirate's fifth largest international source market.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority's US office is based in New York's prestigious Trump Tower on the Big Apple's Fifth Avenue.