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Abu Dhabi records sharp increase in visitor numbers in early 2014

Abu Dhabi records sharp increase in visitor numbers in early 2014

Abu Dhabi’s 152 hotels and hotel apartments have had their best first quarter ever in terms of guest numbers, guest nights and revenue.

Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority show that in the first three months of this year 834,771 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation, a climb of 32 per cent on 2013.

Guest nights delivered during the first quarter if 2014 rose 22 per cent year-on-year to almost 2.6 million with occupancy averaging 79 per cent, which is up eight per cent.

Total hotel revenues increased by 11 per cent to AED 1,585 billion (US$ 389.9 million) with food and beverage income rising 11 per cent to AED595.4 million (US $162 million).

“This all makes for excellent reading particularly when judged against the fact that the emirate’s accommodation inventory has grown significantly over the past year with a 10% increase in room availability,” said HE Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“Q1 is characterised as a particularly busy period for major events in Abu Dhabi both from the leisure and business perspective while increasing air access is bringing new markets within our reach.”

An additional 11 hotels have opened in Abu Dhabi since quarter one of 2013 and the emirate’s room stock now stands at 26,811 compared to 24,416 this time last year.

Increased competition within the market place has held back the average room rate which now stands at AED455 (US $124).

“We are focussing heavily on promoting the emirate’s expanding tourism portfolio in a bid to increase the average length of stay, which is now just over three nights. 

“We are also emphasising to both the trade and consumers the affordability of the destination and the value-for-money it represents,” explained Al Darmaki.

Domestic tourism is performing well for the destination with 260,755 UAE nationals checking into Abu Dhabi, which is 29 per cent more than in quarter one last year.

They delivered 603,120 guest nights, which is up 30 per cent and stayed, on average, 2.31 nights.

India is the emirate’s largest international source market accounting for 50,291 guests during the period - a 39 per cent year-on-year improvement.

Indian guests delivered 196,208 guest nights, which was a 14 per cent increase and stayed, on average, just short of four nights.