By Andy Sambidge
Nearly $280m made during first two months of year as guest numbers increase by 33% in February
Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments saw a 33 percent percent jump in guests last month compared to February 2013 with occupancy reaching 81 percent, new figures revealed on Monday.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said that 262,193 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation during February, delivering a 21 percent month-on-month rise in guest nights to 815,718.
February’s performance continued the growth seen so far in Abu Dhabi in 2014. In the first two months of the year, the emirate received 539,163 hotel guests, up 35 percent.
Year-to-date occupancy levels have risen by 7 percent to 79 percent while hotel revenues have increased by 10 percent to AED1.026 billion ($279.4 million). However, average room rates over the period dropped 9 percent to AED458.
“February was rich with gourmet, cultural, B2B, entertainment and sporting events which appear to have contributed to this record month,” said HE Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“We are encouraged by the growth in occupancy levels and are focusing on increasing the average-length-of-stay, which currently stands at just over three nights and on building the average room rate.”
Domestic tourism in the first two months of this year grew by 30 percent with 166,430 Emiratis staying in Abu Dhabi hotels accounting for 392,946 guest nights – a year-on-year increase of 32 percent.
The largest overseas guest market in the first two months was the UK with some 32,428 Britons checking into the emirate’s accommodation representing a 31 percent increase.
India was the second largest international source market. Some 31,712 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels representing a 36 percent growth and accounting for 127,301 guest nights, which was a jump of 14 percent.
The most stellar growth performance, however, came from China which is now the emirate’s third largest overseas source market.
“This would appear to be a result of a wave of arrivals to spend the Chinese New Year in the emirate where hotels and shopping malls and Al Maryah Island laid on specific celebratory events and products,” said Al Darmaki. “It is a time of year we will focus on in the future."