Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority is planning to create a dedicated industry development committee for the emirate’s western region – Al Gharbia – as it looks to stimulate growth in the area.
The authority is also planning to build a dedicated visitor centre in Al Gweifhat to better educate road travellers from Saudi Arabia on the region’s attraction as they pass through the area to enter the UAE.
“There is substantial opportunity for inward tourism investment into the unique Al Gharbia region, where the desert meets the sea and where visitors can be among the tallest dunes in the world in the morning and go diving in waters rich in marine life in the afternoon,” Mohammed Al Dhaheri, strategy and policy director, TCA Abu Dhabi, explained.
“Currently there are only nine hotels in Al Gharbia – and only one of these is in the mid-range, four-star category.
“The hotels there now are performing quite well with Al Gharbia recording Abu Dhabi’s highest average room rate of around AED690.”
Demand for hotel accommodation in Al Gharbia is increasing.
The first quarter of this year saw a 114 per cent leap in the number of guests staying in Al Gharbia’s hotels compared to the first quarter last year.
“New resorts have opened on Sir Bani Yas Island but the problem the region faces is with the average length of guest stay – which is currently coming in at only 2.64 nights with average occupancy at 65 per cent,” said Al Dhaheri.
“Nevertheless we are heading in the right direction as occupancy is up 12 per cent on last year.
The TCA Director said hospitality investor returns in Al Gharbia have proved healthy with total hotel revenues in the region in quarter one this year surging 83 per cent to AED67.3 million.