Abu Dhabi hotels post record Oct performance

Tourism chiefs say guest numbers reach new high; revenue up 9% at $122.5m

Abu Dhabi tourism chiefs have said hotels in the UAE capital posted their best ever October in terms of the number of guests.

According to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), arrivals at the emirate's 136 hotels and hotel apartments soared 22 percent on the same month last year to 223,015 guests with guest nights rising 16 percent to 675,542.

Total hotel revenues increased nine percent month-on -month to AED450m ($122.5m) with food & beverage revenue rising 11 percent and room revenue climbing seven percent.

"October benefitted from an action-packed events series," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

These included the World Routes Conference held at ADNEC, which attracted more than 2,800 CEOs and senior aviation and tourism professionals from more than 80 countries and generated an estimated direct economic impact for the emirate of AED17m.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Yasalam activities ahead of the Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Prix and EidFest Abu Dhabi also boosted performance, he said.

He added: "We anticipate a strong November result with the impacts from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art which will leave us well placed to attain our annual 2.3 million hotel guest target as we head towards the end of the year."

Al Muhairi said the authority is focusing on initiatives to build occupancy, which slipped seven percent last month compared to October 2011 to 71 percent and the average-length of guest stay, which fell by five percent month-on-month to 3.03 nights.

"There is significant new room stock entering the market - four new properties opened in October and one resort, which had been closed for refurbishment for five months also reopened and we are keenly aware of the pressure on occupancy," said Al Muhairi.

October's performance has lifted Abu Dhabi's year-to-date hotel guest arrivals by 16 percent to 1,96m with guest nights for the period rising 11 percent to 5,63m.

Year-to-date revenues have risen four percent to AED3.61bn although occupancy fell seven percent to 64 percent and the average-length-of-stay dropped four percent to 2.87 nights.

The UK remained Abu Dhabi's largest international hotel guest source market with arrivals inching up two percent to 113,508.

India turned in a 32 percent increase to 112,179 guests to place it second in Abu Dhabi's hotel guest rankings. Germany came in third.

Double-digit hotel guest growth has also been recorded in the first 10 months from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, The Philippines, Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, Italy, Oman, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Russia, Palestine, The Netherlands and Ireland, the figures showed.

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