Abu Dhabi has recorded its best-ever, first-half hotel results with rises in all its key performance indicators including guest numbers, guest nights, occupancy, revenue and length-of-stay from January – June this year compared to the same period last year.
Year-to-date, hotel guests were up 11 percent to just over 1 million, guest nights increased 26 per cent to over 3 million, occupancy rose 10 per cent to 70 per cent, revenue climbed 6 per cent to Dh2.26 billion ($619 million) while average-length-of-stay expanded 13 per cent to 2.97 nights.
“This is an impressive performance and one which bodes well for the destination achieving its stretch target of 2 million guests by the end of this year,” said HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (Adta), which released the figures.
“Results have been assisted by the destination’s heightened competitiveness with average room rates falling by 15 per cent in the first half compared to last year making Abu Dhabi a more affordable up-scale option than Sydney, Paris, New York or Tokyo.”
Sheikh Sultan says the second-half of the year could prove stellar for the destination despite the planned opening of a flurry of major hotel properties.
“The fact is that we have an up-scaled major events calendar, superior resort openings and compelling visitor package deals in the offing. This includes the third Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this November, nationwide celebrations this December to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and the highly-anticipated hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet for a two-week , carnival-style stopover starting December 30,” he explained. “We have a great accommodation and attractions infrastructure now in place, keener competitiveness and a more compelling story with which to engage potential visitors.”
Some ten luxury, five-star resorts are due on stream in Abu Dhabi by the end of the year which will heighten competition in some segments though Adta believes they will significantly add to the destination’s appeal and expand its overall market reach.
“Many of these are major beachfront resorts which will substantially boost our leisure proposition,” explained Sheikh Sultan. “And, with all being managed by high-end chains, there will significant additional weight added to the destination’s international marketing through CRM and the combined power of these chains in distribution channels.”
In the first six months of this year the UK remained the emirate’s largest hotel guest source market accounting for some 72,998 guests – a 20 per cent increase on the first half of 2010.