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Abu Dhabi hotel guest numbers up 12pc in H1

Abu Dhabi, July 28, 2013

Abu Dhabi has reported a 12 per cent rise in the number of guests staying in its 145 hotels and hotel apartments for the first half of this year compared to the first six months of last year.

Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) also show that guests in the emirate are staying longer and that there have been significant increases in hotel occupancies and revenues.

During the first half of this year 1,333,339 guests checked into Abu Dhabi accommodation delivering 4,226,604 guest nights – a rise of 25 per cent on 2012. On average the guest stayed 3.17 nights – which is up 12 per cent on last year, which translates into an occupancy rate of 71 per cent - which is up 8 per cent on 2012.

“We heading in the right direction and this heightened performance, despite significant increases in resort and hotel inventory, justifies our increased efforts in trade engagement and international marketing and promotion and the expanded product operators and investors have put into the destination,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“We anticipate the momentum building in the second half of the year which covers key happenings such as the Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art, the Al Ain Aerobatics Show, a number of headline concerts on Yas Island and major sporting events including the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Wake Park World Championship Finals.

“On the business events front we can look forward to hosting the International Conference on Neurology and Epidemiology which is expected to be attended by upwards of 600 specialists in these fields and Abu Dhabi’s hosting, this December, of the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum.”

Year-to-date hotel revenues rose 16 per cent to Dh2.7 billion ($734 million) despite a slight fall-off of 3 per cent in average room rate to Dh447 ($122). Food & beverage income continued to hold its own climbing 15 per cent to Dh1 billion ($287.5 million).

Abu Dhabi’s strong performance was aided by a bumper June when guest arrivals rose 13 per cent, guest nights increased 22 per cent, revenues shot up by 13 per cent, people stayed longer and occupancy increased by 6 per cent to 65 per cent.

“We seem to be going someway to breaking the cycle of major business dips in summer,” explained Al Muhairi. “And what’s really encouraging is that guests are staying longer – which suggests our campaign to convince people that there’s now much more to do and see in Abu Dhabi, is taking hold. We’ve broken through the three nights stay mark.”

While domestic tourism continued to be the destination’s largest single catchment, India snatched the top slot as the emirate’s largest overseas source market toppling the UK into second place.

Some 80,179 Indian nationals stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels from January until the end of June a 22 per cent rise on last year. They accounted for 334,238 guest nights –which is up 43 per cent on 2012 and stayed an average of 4.17 nights – an increase of 17 per cent.

“We are benefitting from increased destination awareness in India following the opening a year ago of a dedicated promotions office there and also of increased air access from the country following Etihad Airways’ equity stake in Jet Airways and the move by the Indian carrier of its Middle East hub to Abu Dhabi,” explained Al Muhairi.

During the first six months 78,053 Britons stayed in the emirate’s hotels – a 9 per cent increase on last year. They delivered 362,690 room nights, which was up 21 per cent and stayed for an average of 4.65 nights – 11 per cent more than last year.

Germany came in as the third largest overseas market with 62,488 of its nationals staying – 27 per cent up on last year. Germans accounted for 296,624 guest nights, which is a rise of 37 per cent on 2012 and they stayed, on average, 4.75 nights – which is 8 per cent up on last year.

Russians are proving to be Abu Dhabi’s longest staying guests, checking in for an average of just over six nights – a six per cent increase on 2012. And more Russians are coming to the destination than ever before with 13,094 checking in during the first six months – a 46 per cent increase on 2012 – and accounting for 79,750 guest nights, which is 54 per cent up on last year. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | tourism | Occupancy | TCI | First half | Hotel guests |

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