By Daniel Shane
Emirate books record numbers in year to September, although overall occupancy dips
The number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi hotels reached a new record in the first nine months of the year, according to figures released by the emirate’s tourism authority.
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) data showed that 1.74m people stayed in the UAE capital’s 131 hotels and hotel apartments, representing a 15 percent increase compared to the same period in 2011.
TCA Abu Dhabi said the rise in the number of guests translated into 5m hotel guest nights, 10 percent up against the first nine months of last year.
Despite this, occupancy levels during the first three quarters of the year shrank 7 percent to 63 percent, likely due to the number of new properties that came on line during the period.
“We are well placed to achieve our yearly target of 2.3m hotel guests, particularly as we have a busy Q4 ahead with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art, the Mubadala World Tennis Championships and the opening of the Yas Waterworld still to look forward to," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Other statistics published by TCA showed that 189,442 guests checked into Abu Dhabi hotels during September, up 14 percent compared to the same month last year. Guests nights were up 16 percent year-on-year to 566,404.
Average length-of-stay dipped by 4 percent to 2.99 nights during September, while overall revenue grew 3 percent to US$85.8m.
Strongest growth in customer bookinga for the first nine months of 2012 came from Asia, the GCC and Europe, TCA Abu Dhabi said. The number of guests from India rose 31 percent to 98,246, the authority said.
The UK remained the emirate’s prime source market for overseas hotel guests, increasing 1 percent to 99,189 guests.
Guests arriving from Saudi Arabia, Russia and China also demonstrated strong double digit growth in booking numbers during the first three quarters of the year, according to TCA Abu Dhabi.