Abu Dhabi Creates ‘Safe Zone’ Framework for Events and Tourists

Sunset over the Beach Octagon at Yas Beach

The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has noted the successful delivery of UFC Fight Island, which featured the creation of a “‘safe zone” for approximately 2,500 people over five weeks on Yas Island.

Yas Island is a key cruise ship destination, most frequented by MSC Cruises. 

UFC Fight Island occupied an 11 kilometre stretch of the island – the “safe zone” – which was locked off and completely secluded from the rest of the Emirate for the five-week period. UFC personnel from 35 nations, event staff and Yas Island employees were housed for the entire duration of the event in some of Abu Dhabi’s prime hotels, surrounded by top entertainment attractions.

The health and safety procedures undertaken by event staff were extensive and included COVID-19 testing every 72 hours 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.

“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. We would like to thank our partners, the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Police, the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Aldar Properties, Miral Asset Management, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, and Etihad Airways who made the success of this concept possible,” said HE 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.”

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