Abu Dhabi Creates "Safe Zone" Framework for Events and Tourists

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is celebrating the successful delivery of UFC Fight Island. DCT Abu Dhabi says this establishes the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as an ideal destination for high-profile events as UFC Fight Island featured the creation of a "safe zone" for approximately 2,500 people over five weeks on Yas Island.

About the event: UFC Fight Island occupied a nearly seven-mile 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 hotels surrounded by top entertainment attractions.

In line with the principles of the “Go Safe” certification program, led by DCT Abu Dhabi and endorsed by the Abu Dhabi government, 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 luxury hotels and entertainment facilities all within the protected bubble.

The "safe zone" for the event 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. 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. 

Also included in the "safe zone" are the du Arena, the open-air venue for music concerts, and the Etihad Arena, set to be the region’s largest multi-purpose indoor arena with a seating capacity of 18,000. In central Abu Dhabi, Zayed Sports City also houses a football stadium, tennis arena and numerous hotels, with a nearby cricket stadium. These venues can be utilized to create similar event "safe zones" in the future, enabling Abu Dhabi to build on the event-hosting roadmap it has created through the hosting of UFC Fight Island.

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