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Abu Dhabi hotels exceed 2011 target on guests

More than 100,000 guests stayed at hotels in the UAE capital last year, tourism authority says

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Hotels in the UAE capital reported a record number of guests in 2011, beating the target for the year of 2 million guests by 6.5 per cent or over 100,000 guests, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said in a statement on Monday.

It said that last year emerged as "most successful" for Abu Dhabi hotels,with some 2,111,611 guest arrivals. December delivered a bumper return for the UAE's capital with some 207,723 guests checking into the emirate's hotels, marking a 26 per cent rise on December 2010 and the highest achieving month of the year.

According to ADTA estimates, while occupancy levels in Abu Dhabi hotels reached 69 per cent (up 7 per cent over the previous year) in the year, hotels' revenue rose 3 per cent to Dh4.375 billion ($1.2 billion) while room revenue increased by 2 per cent to Dh2.3 billion ($631 million).

Also, with the average room rate slipping by 14 per cent to Dh490 ($133), guest nights at the emirates' hotels were up 22 per cent to 6.3 million, with the length of stay expanding 5 per cent to 2.97 nights.

While domestic tourism accounted for 39 per cent of overall 2011 arrivals in Abu Dhabi hotels, the GCC - including the UAE, made up 45 per cent of hotel guests, and the non-GCC Arab countries accounted for 11 per cent. Tourists from Europe, meanwhile accounted for 18 per cent, followed by Asia with 14 per cent, ADTA stated.

"It leaves us well placed to build for 2012 for which we had initially target 2.3 million but, in conjunction with stakeholders, will now reassess to see if this too, can be stretched," Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA, said in a statement.