Abu Dhabi registers significant increase in tourists

By admin Wednesday, 05 September 2012 8:00 PM

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Abu Dhabi registers significant increase in tourists

A focussed drive complemented by an ambitious summer campaign and an exciting line-up of events in the second half of 2012 have paid off splendidly to attract increasing numbers of tourists, says Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)


Positive figures indicate that Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s (TCA Abu Dhabi), ambitious efforts to attract increasing numbers of tourists to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi have paid off admirably. Hotels and hotel apartments throughout Abu Dhabi emirate have continued their hotel guest and guest nights momentum, after receiving 12% more guests in May this year, compared to May last year. Some 192,374 guests stayed in the emirate’s accommodation in May this year, accounting for 542,567 guest nights – a rise of 7% on May last year.

Total hotel revenue climbed 3% on May 2011 to stand at AED360 million (US$98 million). Room revenue over the same period decreased 4% to AED167.32million (US$45.5 million). Reflecting increased room supply throughout the emirate – the number of rooms available has risen 13% since May 2011 - hotel occupancy in May reached 63%, an 8% slip on the comparative month last year.  The average length of stay decreased 4% on May 2011 to come in at 2.82 days.

“Average length of stay is a key performance indicator we are now actively addressing through our intensive Summer in Abu Dhabi campaign. By offering a range of discounted activities and family-orientated entertainment programmes, we are providing more incentives to guests to visit the emirate and stay for longer,” explained HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which has released the monthly figures.

“We are closely monitoring this programme’s performance to identify areas of key appeal and improvement so that we can continue - with widespread stakeholder support - to build on the destination’s overall value-for-money proposition.”


Huge summer campaign

Abu Dhabi launched a huge summer campaign this year in conjunction with Etihad Airways, 50 hotels and 14 of its top attractions which is luring visitors with a range of incentives including free kids flights, free rooms and free attraction admission for kids backed up by the Summer in Abu Dhabi family festival at ADNEC.

So far this year, Abu Dhabi’s accommodation providers have received 984,045 guests – a 14% increase on the first five months of last year. Guest nights over the same period have risen 8% to 2,834,886. Year-to-date occupancy stands at 66% - a dip of 7% on last year - though revenue has risen 2% to stand at AED2 billion (US$544.5 million).

Guests from Asia rose 33% and Europe turned in a 15% growth. Asia’s guest performance was largely due to growth from China (137%), the Philippines (71%), and India (38%), while growth from Europe was spearheaded by growth from Germany (45%).

“Overall performance in the first four months of this year has to be viewed positively, certainly if we can maintain guest growth we will reach our annual target of 2.3 million this year – with some important projects coming up later this year to benefit from,” said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.


A splendid line-up of events

September’s hosting, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, of the World Routes Development Forum and November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be quickly followed by Abu Dhabi Art.

“Nevertheless we are in no way complacent and are actively working, in close collaboration with stakeholders, on a number of key initiatives to drive up domestic and regional tourism during the summer months, over Ramadan and Eid. And we look forward to the opening later this year of another major power draw on YasIsland with the planned opening of the expansive Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.”

“The simple fact is that there are now more reasons to come to Abu Dhabi and stay longer and we continue to take this message to the world with a dynamic programme of inbound familiarisation trips for both trade and media as well as a vibrant overseas trade   fair and road show campaign,” added Al Muhairi.

The UK remains Abu Dhabi’s leading overseas source market – though the arrivals coming out of the UK are down slightly – while India is now the destination’s second largest source market with hotel guest arrival out of the Republic up 28% year-on-year. Significant gains have also been achieved from Saudi Arabia, German, China, Italy, The      Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.

The ADTA (TCA Abu Dhabi) is gearing up for a globe-trotting summer promotional tour for the Formula One™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from November 2-4. Held in conjunction with Yas Marina Circuit, the venue for the mega spectacle, and Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier and the event’s headline sponsor, the promotional tour will span seven countries - all of which are currently among Abu Dhabi’s top 20 international source markets for the first five months of the year: the UK (1), Germany (3), Saudi Arabia (6), France (8), China (13), Australia (15) and Russia (20).

Visitors to Abu Dhabi will soon also have a far wider choice of world-class watersport facilities to choose from, giving a major fillip in the emirate’s ongoing pursuit to establish international credentials as a premier winter watersports destination. It follows hot-on-the-heels of Abu Dhabi’s historic hosting, last January, of the Volvo Ocean Race.