Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is eyeing more than 20 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2016 owing to more long weekends this year and better air connectivity.

"In 2015 (January-December) we hosted 2.8 lakh Indian travellers. This year till July we had already crossed the 1.76 lakh mark and hope to see an increase of over 20 per cent in tourist arrivals from India this year," said Abu Dhabi Tourism India’s Country Manager Bejan Dinshaw.

He said with the Jet Airways-Etihad tie up, the air link had improved, especially from tier II cities in India.

Jet-Etihad directly connect 14 Indian cities to Abu Dhabi.

Even as India continues to be the top source market, there is still a huge potential to be tapped, he said, adding that Abu Dhabi Tourism was planning to increase its marketing spend by 25 per cent this year on promotions in the sub-continent.

"We are delighted that India is the leading overseas source market for Abu Dhabi. We have received positive response from all our market promotion initiatives. As the market matures, we are now placing more emphasis on its growth potential, tailoring products to meet the needs and demands of the affluent travellers," Dinshaw said.

Abu Dhabi is promoting itself as a luxurious yet affordable destination mainly targeting leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) segments.

He said the Gulf nation was also growing as a choice destination for weddings, honeymoon and other niche travel segments with an ever-expanding portfolio of tourist attractions.