Occupancy in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments climbed 10 per cent to 83 per cent in November over the same period in 2012, bringing the total number of arrivals to date to over 2.5 million…

Abu Dhabi hotels attract 2.5 million visitors!

Occupancy in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments climbed 10 per cent to 83 per cent in November over the same period in 2012, bringing the total number of arrivals to date to over 2.5 million, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the tourism body, guest arrivals at the emirate’s 149 hotels and hotel apartments jumped 26 per cent to around 260,810 in November compared to the same period in 2012, resulting in a 19 per cent jump in revenue to Dh669 million. Guest nights, meanwhile, were up 27 per cent to 856,785. In the first nine months of the year, meanwhile, Abu Dhabi attracted around 2,530,810 guests, up 17 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year, according to TCA Abu Dhabi.

Events like Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Fifa Under 17 World Cup and Abu Dhabi Art have helped reel in visitors to Abu Dhabi, according to Mohammad Al Daheri, director of strategy and policy at TCA Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways’ expansion of its network and codeshare agreements have also helped boost visitor numbers.

“We hope to maintain the same performance in December,” Al Daheri told Gulf News, without revealing visitor numbers. He, however, expects “2.8 million guests arrivals in Abu Dhabi in 2014”.

The emirate has seen 12 new properties and around 2,500 new rooms online since 2012, Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general at TCA Abu Dhabi, said in a statement.

Food and beverage

Year-to-date occupancy rate stood at 70 per cent, up nine per cent over 2012, while average room rate reached Dh477.22, declining one per cent in the period. Total hotel revenue, meanwhile, stood at around Dh5 billion, clocking 11 per cent growth over 2012, according to TCA Abu Dhabi statistics. Also, food and beverage (F&B) income rose 19 per cent to around Dh1.9 billion.

Hotel occupancy in Abu Dhabi is expected to be around 79 per cent by the end of the year, from 69 per cent in the earlier year, according to Christopher Hewett, senior consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting.

“[In 2014] We expect continued growth in terms of occupancy. We think the average rate is going to bottom out,” Hewett said.

India, the UK and Germany continue to be the top overseas source markets for Abu Dhabi.

This year saw 157,594 guests arrive from India, 147,852 from the UK and 107,264 from Germany. The increases were 26 per cent, 14 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively over the previous year.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism in Abu Dhabi is on an ascent. Guest arrivals jumped six per cent to touch 865,966, while guest nights rose 30 per cent to more than two million, and length of stay grew by 23 per cent to 2.31 nights, as per the TCA Abu Dhabi estimates.

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