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Thu 24 Mar 2011 12:23 PM

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Abu Dhabi hotels see 24% revenue boost on Saudi surge

UAE capital saw a 17 percent rise in guest numbers in February, ADTA data shows

Abu Dhabi hotels see 24% revenue boost on Saudi surge
Abu Dhabi saw a 24 percent surge in hotel revenues in February aided by regional unrest

Abu Dhabi saw a 24 percent surge in hotel revenues in February
aided by regional unrest, key events in the capital and a 90 percent rise in
guests from Saudi Arabia, the emirate’s tourism agency said Thursday.

Some 175,309 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 115 hotels last
month, a rise of 17 percent, while revenue jumped 24 percent to AED440m
($120.5m), Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said.

“The year-on-year February increase has been primarily
driven by major events held in the emirate including the IDEX international
defence show, the Al Ain Aerobatic Show and Gourmet Abu Dhabi,” said Lawrence
Franklin, strategy and policy director, ADTA.

Hotels also benefited from the political uprisings sweeping
parts of the Arab world, helping to push a 90 percent jump in Saudi visitors to
6,950. Abu Dhabi saw a similar jump in Russian visitors, with the number of
guests from the Eurasian country rising 88 percent to 1,561.

Guest numbers from Oman and Qatar declined, ADTA said,
without specifying the number.  “ADTA
will continue to build on this increased business from Russia through its
on-the-ground representation in Moscow [and] plans for a fully-fledged ADTA
office in the Russian capital in the final lease negotiation stage,” Franklin said.

The UK remained Abu Dhabi’s top source market, providing 12,832
visitors. American guests rose 36 percent to 8,342 and French visitors jumped
49 percent to 4,760.

Abu Dhabi's 115 hospitality units saw average occupancy
levels rise 16 percent to 77 percent in February, while the average length of
time guests stayed rose 10 percent to 2.99 nights.

Revenues from the food and beverage sector rose 20 percent
on the year to AED142.9m, ADTA said.

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