Breaking Travel News
ITB Berlin: Abu Dhabi breaks visitor number records

ITB Berlin: Abu Dhabi breaks visitor number records

Abu Dhabi welcomed more than ten million international visitors in 2018, with the emirate also posting figures showing incredible growth over the last three years.

The UAE capital, which has witnessed an increase in hotel guests to the emirate of 13.6 per cent since the beginning of 2016, has worked hard to reinforce its position as a destination with remarkable global appeal and as a place destined to become a key cultural city of the future.

The United Kingdom remains the largest European source market, registering a six per cent rise from 2017 figures to more than 277,000. 

Figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi have shown more than ten million visitors came to experience the UAE capital last year, made up of both day-trippers and overnight guests, with these hotel guests increasing by 3.94 per cent compared to 2017 at one of the emirate’s 168 hotels or hotel apartments.

In the last three years, Abu Dhabi has posted record numbers of hotel guests every year, regularly exceeding DCT Abu Dhabi’s annual targets.


The key markets of India, the US and China have all posted double-digit growth for hotel guests in 2018, underpinning the impressive surge in visitor numbers to the emirate.

India and China remain the two top markets for overseas visitors, with the UK - the top European source market – rounding out the top three markets for overseas visitors.

“We are incredibly pleased to see these positive metrics, as year on year we have exceeded the already ambitious targets set for Abu Dhabi’s growth,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has made extraordinary strides since its very inception, and a snapshot of the last three years gives an even clearer indication of the strength of the emirate’s growth and standing on the global stage.

“We are now firmly established as a world-class cultural destination. The soaring visitor figures we have seen are evidence of the increase in global appeal of our emirate.”

Abu Dhabi’s appeal as an attractive port of call and homeport destination has translated into an increase of 28 per cent in cruise passengers to Abu Dhabi. 279,704 cruise passengers visited Abu Dhabi in 2016, compared with 354,015 in 2018.

Also, during this time from 2016-18, some 963,257 cruise ship passengers disembarked at Abu Dhabi.