Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy up by 3%, guest arrivals by 26% in July
Abu Dhabi’s hotel occupancy nudged three points to reach 55 percent in July.
The industry achieved a 26 percent growth in guest arrivals last month compared to July 2013, with guest nights climbing 20 percent year-on-year. Revenues rose 14 percent, in the month. Figures released by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that 215,286 guests checked into the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments in July, delivering 653,165 guest nights with occupancy coming in at 55 per cent.
Hotel revenues for the month were Dh317 million ($86.3 million), with food and beverage accounting for Dh126.416, which is up nine percent year-on-year. Occupancy varied considerably throughout the month reaching 52 percent for Ramadan and rising to a peak of 81 percent during Eid AlFitr.
“A full programme of Abu Dhabi Summer Season and cultural events along with the Eid breaks helped build the figures,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general of TCA Abu Dhabi. “We still have an issue with average-length-of-stay, which dipped by five percent this July compared to last, and we are looking closely at initiatives which will address this concern. Though there is still additional ground to cover, we have to see the advances made against the backdrop of a destination which has seen a 10 percent increase in hotel room inventory this year compared to last.”
Abu Dhabi now has 157 hotels and hotel apartments offering a total of 27,928 rooms.
“If we can maintain this momentum we will achieve, if not surpass, our guest target for this year of 3.1 million,” explained Al Darmaki. “We are quietly confident of reaching the target given that the remainder of the year features a packed calendar of events including the huge oil and gas conference ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the World Cup of Sailing and, of course, the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in December.” India remains the emirate’s most productive overseas market. Year-to-date 124,912 Indians have stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels which is a 35 per cent hike.
“We see further potential in the Indian market particularly given the plans by Etihad Airways to launch daily flights to Abu Dhabi next February from the West Bengal capital of Kolkata,” added Al Darmaki.
The UK is the emirate’s second largest overseas market with 108,456 Britons checking into Abu Dhabi from January to July, which is an increase of 26 per cent year-on-year.
“Again there is further potential waiting in the UK with Etihad’s planned flights from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi due to begin next June,” added Al Darmaki. “We are also seeing considerable improvement in arrivals from the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Canada, Russia, Kuwait and the Netherlands.”