The latest figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) for the emirate’s hospitality sector reveal that total hotel revenues for the emirate for Q1 of 2019 have increased by more than 16% compared to the same period in 2018.
Events such as the AFC Asian Cup, IDEX exhibition, Special Olympics World Games, and the Retail Abu Dhabi (RAD) shopping festival, alongside the popularity of in-demand new attractions including Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the Al Hosn cultural site and Qasr Al Watan Library all provided a significant boost to the emirate’s appeal as a tourism destination for the first three months of the year.
The First Quarter results reveal total revenues, which increased by 16.1%, were driven by a boost in Average Room Revenue (ARR), which increased by almost 15% coupled with an occupancy rate of 79%. The hotels saw room revenue increased by 24.5%, while F&B revenues increased by 10.4%.
In total 1,291,482 visitors were guests of Abu Dhabi’s 169 hotels and hotel apartments during Q1, a modest increase of about 6,600 over the same period in 2018. For the first three months of the year, the figures also show Abu Dhabi has enjoyed a 2.1% increase in the Average Length of Stay of all guests.
For hotel guests, there were marked increases for visitors from the USA, with a 13.8% rise for Q1. Average Length of Stays for visitors from the UK, China, India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also saw increases. Also, Q1 witnessed a 51% rise in visitors coming to Abu Dhabi for leisure purposes compared to last year.
The Al Ain Region recorded impressive hotel guest figures for Q1, with 132,751 guests representing a 19.8% rise on last year. All three regions of the emirate also recorded a comparative increase in Occupancy Rates for Q1, with Abu Dhabi up 0.5%, Al Ain Region up 11.5% and Al Dhafra Region up 1.1%.
The appeal of the emirate was boosted by recent additions to Abu Dhabi’s hotel portfolio, with a number of major properties including the Abu Dhabi Edition, which is the first Edition brand hotel in the Middle East and North Africa region, alongside the Jumeirah Saadiyat, Saadiyat Rotana and Jumeirah Al Wathba properties which all opened in recent months.
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “These numbers confirm our strong start to 2019 and that our efforts and strategic planning are proving successful. The Q1 figures were without doubt boosted by visitors inspired by all Abu Dhabi offered in the first three months of the year.
“We will continue to focus on our key markets in the second quarter of this year, promoting more world-class events. Abu Dhabi International Book Fair saw an increase of 18% in visitor figures, attracting experts, authors and book fans from across the world. We are confident that we will build on our strong start to the year, and we look forward to seeing our metrics in positive territory as we head towards summer.”
The second quarter of the year is a reliable period for attracting tourists, with marquee events such as the Al Dhafra Water Festival, the Jiu Jitsu Championship and Eid Festival all taking place.