Move over Dubai! Tourists flocking to Abu Dhabi hotels in record-breaking millions, data shows
More than 2.2 million hotel guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s 148 hotels and hotel apartments in the first 10 months of this year with guest nights rising a record 26 per cent year-on-year to over 7 million, a report said.
Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) put the total number of arrivals this year at 2,270,000, reflecting a 16 per cent growth on last year’s record performance – with October delivering a record monthly guest intake, guest nights tally, occupancy rate and revenues.
October proved to be a monthly record chalking up 288,268 guest arrivals – a jump of 29 per cent on the same month last year; 882,470 guest nights – which lunged 31 per cent; a healthy 79 per cent occupancy rate, which was up by 10 per cent and a revenue stream of Dh578.4 million ($157.5 million), which was 28 per cent more than October 2012. Food & beverage income accounted for Dh209.9 million ($57.2 million) of total revenue and represented a 24 per cent uplift on October last year.
“The best news yet is that the average room rate went up by 7 per cent to Dh507 ($138), which still represents terrific value given the high standard of accommodation and service offered in the destination,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “The uplift is even better when judged in context of the fact that we have 12 more hotels and an additional 2,187 rooms available than at this time last year.
“October benefitted from the Eid break and from a series of major events staged throughout the emirate. We can look forward with quiet optimism to a year-end of similar, if not better performance given that November had a number of event highlights, not least the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and December should benefit from the traditional National Day and seasonal breaks and increased overseas product packaging. We have positive sentiment for end-of-year results given that we are within comfortable reach of our 2.5 million guest target.”
Occupancy rates for the 10 months have risen 9 per cent on 2012 to 69 per cent, with total revenues jumping 19 per cent to almost Dh4.3 billion ($1.17 billion). Food and beverage accounted for close to Dh1.7 billion ($453 million) of the total revenue which is up by 18 per cent on 2012. Average room rate for the year slipped by 1 per cent to Dh429 ($117).
Domestic tourism – arrivals from within the United Arab Emirates – has risen 4 per cent in the first 10 months of this year with 778,113 guests delivering 1,792,751 guest nights, an increase of 28 per cent, and an average-length-of-stay of 2.3 nights, which is up 23 per cent.
“People are staying longer in the emirate which is a key feature of our promotions and marketing thrust. There is far more to see and do in Abu Dhabi and we want guests to experience as much as possible,” said Al Muhairi.
On the overseas front, India remains the emirate’s largest source market with 140,786 Indians checking into the emirate – a 26 per cent rise compared to January-October 2012. They accounted for 555,945 guest nights – which is up 27 per cent, and stay, on average 3.95 nights.
“We are looking to build this market further and in December will roll out our biggest road show delegation to India with 25 stakeholders joining in,” explained Al Muhairi.
The promotion will take in four major cities – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and, for the first time, Ahmedabad. This corresponds to increasing air accessibility from the Republic to Abu Dhabi via Etihad Airways’ expanded network and it strategic partnership with Jet Airways.”
The UK is the second largest overseas source market with some 130,038 Britons staying in the emirate, a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent. They delivered 604,965 guest nights – a 24 per cent uplift – and stayed, on average 4.65 nights, which is up 8 per cent.
Germany came in third with 95,970 arrivals – up by a quarter year-on-year and accounting for 446,363 guest nights – which is a rise of 35 per cent. The German guests stayed, on average, 4.86 nights.
“We have more expectations from the German market given the fact that Etihad will, from February, increase its daily service from Munich to Abu Dhabi to a double-daily frequency,” added Al Muhairi.