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Abu Dhabi hotel guests up 28pc in H1

Abu Dhabi, August 5, 2014

More than 1.7 million guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments during the first six months of the year, marking a 28 per cent up lift on the first half of 2013, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

The arrivals delivered 5,147,392 guest nights, which was up 22 per cent on the comparative period last year with occupancy climbing 8 per cent year-on-year.

Hotel and room revenues both jumped 15 per cent to Dh3.089 billion ($841 million) and Dh1, 578 billion ($429.8 million) respectively. Guest nights and revenues with occupancy also rebounded to reach 77 per cent.

The bullish half year performance was aided by a jump in year-on-year uplift for the month of June when guest arrivals rose 14 per cent to 264,203, guest nights climbed 18 per cent to 771,997, the average length-of-stay nudged up 4 per cent to 2.92 nights and occupancy moved up 8 per cent to 70 per cent. Hotel revenues rose 16 per cent to Dh413 million ($112.4 million).

The occupancy increase should also be viewed alongside the fact that the number of hotels in the emirate in June this year stood at 154 with a total of 27,405 room against June 2013 when there were 145 hotels accounting for 25,270 rooms,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“There was considerable arrivals uplift during the month from within the UAE market, the GCC, China, Russia, India, France, Germany and the UK.”

TCA says a number of factors have been at play in delivering the half year and June 2014 results, including a highly competitive average room rate which now stands at Dh348 ($95) and increasing air access to the destination with new Etihad Airways services this year from Medina, Jaipur, Zurich and Los Angeles and the introduction of a non-stop service from Brisbane, Australia.

“Even more is promised with the Etihad network having expanded in July to include flights from Rome and Perth and Dallas, Texas due on line in December,” explained Al Darmaki.

“We have also seen a concerted stakeholder campaign for our new Abu Dhabi Summer Season which has seen the destination putting out compelling entertainment, hospitality and attraction packages across the entire tourism eco-system.”

The results leave the destination well placed to attain its 2014 hotel guest target of 3.2 million “with a dynamic Q3 and Q4 to come,” according to Al Darmaki.

“There are a number of high profile major events lined up including the Abu Dhabi Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition, ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi Art, the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the newly-signed ISAF Sailing World Cup, National Day celebrations and the year-end hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“We are also progressing plans for some exciting new destination product which we hope to announce to the market soon.”

Year-on-year domestic tourism is proving robust increasing by 25 per cent as have GCC arrivals with growth being largely driven from Kuwait (44 per cent), Oman (41 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (21 per cent).

India continues to be the destination’s most productive source market. In the first six months of this year 107,995 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels – a 35 per cent increase on 2013. These Indian guests delivered 408,862 guest nights, which was a 22 per cent uplift, and stayed, on average, 3.79 nights.

“There has been a slight fall off in the average-length-of-stay of our Indian guests which we are now assessing and will work with stakeholders to better tailor product specific to this guest sector profile,” said Al Darmaki.

“Specific product marketing is now also being developed by stakeholders for the increasingly prolific Chinese and Russian markets.”

The UK is the destination’s second largest overseas market with 98,710 Britons checking into Abu Dhabi in the first half of the year – 26 per cent more than last year. The British accounted for 423,737 guest nights, which was a rise of 17 per cent and stayed, on average, 4.29 nights.

Germany came in as the third most productive international market. Some 67,768 Germans checked into Abu Dhabi – 8 per cent more than in the first half of 2013 and delivered an 11 per cent increase in guest nights to 328,351 staying, on average, 4.85 nights.

“We are quietly confident of ending the year right on target and addressing key areas which we have identified as ripe for improvement, including expansion of length-of-stay, particularly in our Al Gharbia Western Region and Al Ain,” explained Al Darmaki. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Occupancy | guest nights | Abu Dhabi hotels |

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