Stars Wars effect spurs rise in Abu Dhabi hotel bookings says fans flocked to the emirate after images were leaked online
By Neil Halligan
Wed 18 Jun 2014 10:53 AM

The ‘Star Wars’ effect is being attributed as the main reason behind a 19 percent rise in hotel reservations in Abu Dhabi.

New figures released by show a marked increased in bookings, which the online booking website says is down to fans of Star Wars flocking to the emirate.

Filming of the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise, Episode VII, took place recently in a secret and highly guarded location in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region.

However, following leaked images on the internet of the sets in the desert, says it recorded a 19 percent year-on-year increase in hotel bookings.

A spokesperson for the online portal says die-hard fans, eager to find out all they can about the filming on the fictional desert planet of Tatooine, snapped up hotel rooms around the six-week period of filming.

“As one of the biggest film franchises it’s not surprising that Star Wars fans are eager to sneak a glimpse of any filming action they can,” said Lynda Matthews, head of marketing at

“We would not be surprised to see the bookings continue to rise as fans flock to the desert to combine a short break with a glimpse of Hollywood action.”

It was revealed last week that Abu Dhabi intends to build on the popularity of the film, with discussions taking place about the possibility of displaying parts of the set used in the filming in a museum.

Media group twofour54 was reported to be looking at ways to preserve the Star Wars: Episode VII film sets, with CEO Noura Al Kaabi quoted as saying it was storing them until they were curated.

Saadiyat Island would most likely be the location, where Abu Dhabi is currently building three museums, starting with The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is slated to open in December 2015.

The Guggenheim museum on Saadiyat Island is scheduled for completion in 2017, a year later than the Zayed National Museum.

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