Abu Dhabi: The number of guests in Abu Dhabi hotels and hotel apartments increased by 14 per cent in the first half of 2012 to reach 1.189 million, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
The figures show that 1,189,995 guests checked into hotels and hotel apartments throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi from January to June 2012, accounting for some 3,369,228 guest nights — an increase of 9 per cent compared to the same period of 2011.
“This is a very encouraging performance which leaves us well on track to attain our yearly target of 2.3 million guests,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, TCA’s Director General.
“The task ahead is to maintain the momentum but we are relatively confident of doing this as we look forward to a season ahead packed with major events, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art and the planned November opening of Yas Waterworld — which will be the UAE’s largest water park — and will further heighten the entertainment proposition of Yas Island,” added Al Muhairi.
He highlighted that he anticipates Abu Dhabi to host the 18th World Routes Development Forum in September to bring a significant number of aviation and airline senior personnel to the UAE capital.
TCA said that the best performance was in June as hotels and hotel apartments received 205,950, up by 17 per cent compared to the same month in 2011.
“This year the entire hospitality chain, supported by significant numbers of service and attraction suppliers, came together with the TCA to mount a concerted summer campaign which offered compelling incentives to come to Abu Dhabi over summer,” Al Muhairi pointed out.
TCA said that during H1 of 2012, Abu Dhabi achieved over 2.5 million room nights — an uplift of 8 per cent H1 of 2011.
Furthermore, the total revenue was up by 2 per cent to Dh2.3 billion ($631 million), said TCA. It added that about Dh921.8 million ($251 million) came from food and beverage income, which was up by 11 per cent, while the Dh1.15 billion ($314 million) room revenue was a 4 per cent dip on 2011.
TCA stressed that the number of Indians staying in Abu Dhabi’s hotels rose 31 per cent to 65,519 guests accounting for 234,043 guest nights, a rise of 15 per cent on 2011, making it the second largest overseas source markets.
Hotel occupancy rates in Abu Dhabi over the six months dropped by 7 per cent to 65 per cent largely due to an increase in room inventory.
“Abu Dhabi now has some 128 hotels and hotel apartments accounting for 22,079 rooms. The average length of stay slipped 5 per cent to 2.83 days and revenue per available room was down 15 per cent to Dh301.67 ($82.2), reflecting increased market competitiveness,” said TCA.
Paul Simmons, director of sales and marketing at the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi told the Gulf News: “About 6 per cent up on last year and the GCC still remain strong but seeing the biggest growth in visitors from China, India and Germany compared to last year”.
Some hoteliers lauded the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, calling for further conferences in the emirate to increase the number of visitors and tourists.
Jamil Hamdan, Chairman of the Royal International Hotels in Abu Dhabi, said that this year will witness a slight rise in the number of tourists by 10 per cent as hospitality sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi constitutes a backbone of its economy.
“Abu Dhabi is the best destination for Golf by African and Middle East and North Africa competitors for 2012 as it has three of the best courts in the world,” Hamdan added.
He pointed out that the emirate of Abu Dhabi had been investing billion of dirhams to improve its infrastructure, expanding airport terminals, building new hotels and shopping malls to enhance its position on the regional and international tourism map.