The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi during January rose 7.4 percent compared to 2017 – which was the beginning of a record year for the UAE’s biggest emirate.
According to figures from the Department of Culture and Tourism, 437,228 hotel guests stayed in the emirate’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments in the month, which equates to more than 30,000 over the previous year.
All three regions - Abu Dhabi (6.3 percent), Al Ain (7 percent) and Al Dhafra Region (17.3 percent) – experienced an increase in hotel guests.
In terms of source markets, the key countries of China (10.7 percent), India (31.5 percent), UK (19.1 percent), Saudi Arabia (15.4 percent) and the United States (36.1 percent) all saw double-digit growth. The figures represent a clear vindication for the Department of Culture and Tourism’s targeted campaigns in China and India; there are now, for instance, 282 flights a week to Abu Dhabi from 13 Indian destinations, while Chinese visitors can obtain visas on arrival.
“We continue to invest heavily in promoting the emirate abroad across our source markets, with our strategy paying dividends in attracting more hotel guests than ever before,” said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, DCT Abu Dhabi.
“We are targeting more guests by the end of the year and with our expanding portfolio of attractions across the emirate, including Louvre Abu Dhabi and the soon to be opened Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park, we are confident of reaching this number and continue on towards our target of 8.5 million visitors by 2021.”
One negative note was that occupancy rates in Al Ain and Al Dhafra dropped slightly, as did average length of stay across the emirate. The Department has just led a large delegation of tourism partners and stakeholders to ITB Berlin (March 7-11), one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs, to capitalise on the strong start to the year and build on the gains from European markets.
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