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Routes 2012: Abu Dhabi guest arrivals up 15 per cent

Routes 2012: Abu Dhabi guest arrivals up 15 per cent Yas Waterworld with 43 rides and attractions is to open in Abu Dhabi before the year end

Abu Dhabi  remains right on track to attain its 2012 hotel guest target of 2.3 million with figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) showing a 15% guest arrivals increase in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2011.

From January to the end of August, 1,551,888 people stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 130 hotels and hotel apartments accounting for 4,393,820 guest nights – a rise of 10% on last year’s comparative period – and a 3% uplift in total hotel revenue to AED2.8 billion (US$770 million).

“We are well placed to again achieve our annual target as we have a series of major events to come , including EidFest Abu Dhabi, the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art,” explained HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “December will also see the launch of the destination’s next major power draw – the Yas Waterworld Aqua Park – which is already attracting worldwide attention and promises to deliver a significant year-end boost for Abu Dhabi.”

The destination benefitted from its best August performance to date with a 58% increase in guest arrivals when compared to the same month last year , a 27% climb in guest nights to 519,610, a 4% uplift in occupancy levels to 55% and a 19% rise in total hotel revenue to AED 255 million (US $61.6 million)– a result TCA Abu Dhabi attributes to the Eid Al Fitr holiday which fell at the end of the month.

“The GCC, including domestic tourism from within the UAE,  was our strongest growth market during August with guest arrivals from the region climbing 128% on last year – there was particularly strong growth from Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – which suggests that our campaign of there’s much more now to see and do in Abu Dhabi is taking hold within our neighbouring countries,” added Al Muhairi.


Overall in the period January-August, the UK remained Abu Dhabi’s most productive hotel guest market with some 88,567 Britons staying in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments though the figure is a slight drop of 1% on 2011. UK guests accounted 378,431 guest nights which fell by 4% year-on year. India continues to perform well, now ranking as the emirate’s second most productive overseas market with 87,106 Indians staying –a 31% increase on 2011 – which translated into 324,522 guest nights,  a 22% rise on 2011. In third place was Germany which saw a 44% increase in Abu Dhabi’s hotel guest profile translating to 59,561 arrivals and 267,983 guest nights – a 38% uplift on 2011.

China is rapidly climbing Abu Dhabi’s hotel guest rankings – it’s now in 16th place with the 19,497 Chinese who stayed in the emirate between January and August delivering an 80% increase on last year and some 35,225 guest nights – a rise of 53% on year-to-date.

Increased room stock availability – the emirate now has 22,193 hotel rooms, compared to 18,600 this time last year – has led to a slip in occupancy levels of 63%. The average length of stay has also fallen by 5% and now stands at 2.83 days.

“We are quietly confident of expanding the length of stay with new leisure product coming on line and plans to increased activation of the existing product portfolio nearing completion,” added Al Muhairi.