Abu Dhabi bets on virtual events to revive tourism

Source: cnn.com
Rogers has run Rooftop Rhythms, an organization that hosts open mic poetry nights in Abu Dhabi, since 2012. When the coronavirus pandemic forced the city to shut down public spaces, he had an idea.

In just a few weeks, Rogers and the NYUAD Arts Center sourced the technology needed to create an online performance. He set up two virtual poetry nights on social media, with a line-up that included spoken word artists and musicians from around the world.

Rooftop Rhythms isn't the only Abu Dhabi initiative to go online. Technology such as virtual reality and 360-degree tours are proving more useful than ever, giving hope to museums, galleries and theme parks trying to stay afloat.

After travel bans brought tourism to a standstill in March, Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) launched interactive hub StayCurious to replicate its attractions online.

StayCurious allows users to dive into the city's cultural scene with online art exhibitions, meditation sessions and concerts. From a virtual ride in a Formula 1 race car to a 360-degree visit of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, visitors can virtually explore over 15 sites. According to DCT, the website attracted 300,000 visitors in its first week.