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Etihad Airways to Offer Free Hotel Stay in Abu Dhabi With Stopover Program

Etihad Airways is making it easier to visit Abu Dhabi with a new stopover program that offers a free hotel stay for travelers.

The new stopover program will allow travelers who book a roundtrip flight directly on to add up to two complimentary hotel nights in the city, according to the airline. Passengers can add the stopover during the booking process. 

“We plan to bring more than 100,000 visitors to Abu Dhabi through the Stopover programme over the next year, and we’re confident that once they have a taste of what the capital has to offer, they will return for more,” Antonoaldo Neves, the chief executive officer for Etihad, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to showcase what the emirate has to offer to the world.”

For the stopover, travelers can choose from 3- and 4-star hotels. Breakfast and other extras are not included.

Travelers taking advantage of the stopover will have to pay a small $9.99 fee. The stopover is not available during certain holidays and busy periods, including from Nov. 3 to Nov. 8, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8, and Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

In addition to the complimentary hotel, Etihad’s boarding pass also doubles as an Abu Dhabi Pass, which travelers can use for savings on popular attractions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Etihad isn’t alone in offering a free stopover program. Other carriers like Icelandair, TAP Portugal, and more offer the chance to stop in their hub cities for no extra charge. Previously, Etihad offered a different free stopover program for first class, business class, and Residence passengers. 

The decision to allow more travelers to stop in Abu Dhabi comes as Etihad launched a new flight between Boston and Abu Dhabi, and reintroduced its Airbus A380 aircraft on one of two of its daily flights between the United Arab Emirates city and New York. The jet, which was set to retire during the pandemic, features an incredible three-room first class suite known as “The Residence.

The airline also recently expanded its partnership with JetBlue, allowing travelers to earn and redeem points in each carrier’s loyalty program.

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