Abu Dhabi sees sharp increase in visitor numbers, with Brits leading the way

Abu Dhabi sees sharp increase in visitor numbers, with Brits leading the way

Abu Dhabi’s 149 hotels and hotel apartments saw a 33 per cent year-on-year jump in guests during February.

Occupancy reached 81 per cent, four per cent up on 2013.

Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority show 262,193 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation during February, delivering a 21 per cent month-on-month rise to 815,718 guest nights.

The largest overseas guest market in the first two months of this year was the UK with 32,428 British guests checking into the emirate’s accommodation, a 31 per cent lift.

They accounted for 136,333 guest nights, 15 per cent up year-on-year, with stays averaging just over four nights.

“February was rich with gourmet, cultural, B2B, entertainment and sporting events and these contributed to our record month,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“We are encouraged by the growth in occupancy levels and are focusing on increasing the average-length-of-stay, which currently stands at just over three nights and on building the average room rate.”

Abu Dhabi’s average room rate is currently around AED453 (£74 GBP).

February’s performance continues the stellar growth with which Abu Dhabi’s hospitality industry welcomed in 2014.

In the first two months of the year, the emirate received 539,163 hotel guests, a 35 per cent uplift on January and February 2013.

Guest nights for the comparative period rose 23 per cent to 1.67 million.

Occupancy levels rose by seven per cent to 79 per cent while hotel revenues rose by ten per cent to AED 1,026 billion.

Food and beverage income was up 13 per cent to almost AED383 million.

Average room rate over the period dropped nine per cent to AED458.

Domestic tourism in the first two months of 2014 grew by 30 per cent.

Some 166,430 Emiratis stayed in Abu Dhabi hotels accounting for 392,946 guest nights, a year-on-year increase of 32 per cent.

The average stay is around 2.4 nights.

The most pronounced growth performance, however, came from China which is now the emirate’s third largest overseas source market.

“This would appear to be a result of a wave of arrivals to spend the Chinese New Year in the emirate where hotels and shopping malls and Al Maryah Island laid on specific celebratory events and products,” said Al Darmaki.

“It is a time of year we will focus on in the future.”

Some 22,577 Chinese checked into the emirate’s hotels in the first two months of the year – a whopping 182 per cent uplift on the same period last year.

In all the Chinese arrivals delivered 33,779 guest nights, which was up 120 per cent year-on-year with them staying, on average, just short of two nights.

“Our focus now will be to convince our Chinese guests to stay longer and to experience the widening tourism product of Abu Dhabi city and the wider emirate,” added Al Darmaki.