The Shaikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The number of international visitors to the capital reached a record 11.35 million in 2019. Image Credit: Abdul rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) on Sunday announced that the number of international visitors to the capital reached a record 11.35 million.

The figures released includes 2.83 million overnight and 8.53 million same-day visitors, representing a 10.5 per cent increase over 2018.

Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments also saw 5.1 million guests, their highest recorded number to date and up 2.1 per cent compared to 2018.

Total revenue was up 6.6 per cent to Dh5.8 billion.

International markets

The biggest number of visitors came from India, China, the UK and the US, making up the top four markets. Visitors from India saw a growth of 8.2 per cent with more than 450,000 visitors. The US market also saw an increase of 5.1 per cent visitors.

“These 2019 results reflect the hard work and dedication that DCT Abu Dhabi, its tourism stakeholders and its partners have put into offering a must-see, must-visit leisure and business destination to not only the international visitor but to domestic guests also,” said Saood Al Hosani, acting undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“These outstanding results were underpinned by some world-class, exceptional events presented in the UAE capital across 2019, including the inaugural Abu Dhabi Showdown Week – which included the massively popular UFC 242 event – Abu Dhabi Family Week – which included the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards - and Summer In Abu Dhabi events as well as the Eid Al Adha celebrations,” he added.

“We also saw a fantastic edition of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art, ADIPEC 2019 and concerts from global superstars such as Eminem, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” he said.

“These events helped elevate Abu Dhabi’s global standing and reputation and contributed massively to our guest metrics, resulting once more in a record breaking year in terms of visitation to the UAE capital.”

Emirate wide growth

Along with record numbers in Abu Dhabi, the rest of the emirate also saw an increase in visitors and revenue.

Hotels in Al Ain posted a 9.8 per cent increase in guest numbers and occupancies at 2.3 per cent. Al Dhafra region, which has also been positioning itself as a tourist destination saw increases in hotel occupancy up by 3.6 per cent and revenues also up by 5.0 per cent.