By Elizabeth Broomhall
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority says performance achieved despite oversupply of hotel properties
Abu Dhabi tourism officials said on Wednesday that the UAE capital had recorded its best ever hotel results in the first half of 2011.
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said the performance had been achieved despite an oversupply of hotel properties and ongoing political unrest in the surrounding region.
A report by ADTA revealed that the number of hotel guests in the emirate was up 11 percent in H1 compared with the same period last year reaching just over one million, and length of stay rose 13 percent to 2.97 nights.
Occupancy levels were boosted 10 percent while revenue soared to AED2.26bn ($619m), ADTA added.
“This is an impressive performance and one which bodes well for the destination achieving its stretch target of 2m guests by the end of this year,” said ADTA chairman Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.
“Results have been assisted by the destination’s heightened competitiveness with average room rates falling by 15 percent in the first half compared to last year making Abu Dhabi a more affordable up-scale option than Sydney, Paris, New York or Tokyo.”
Abu Dhabi has become increasingly attractive among foreign visitors in recent years thanks to developments such as the Yas hotel and Ferrari World.
The latest Abu Dhabi real estate overview by property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) echoed the ADTA results, highlighting strong signs of recovery in the first six months of the year.
This coincided with a fall in average room rates between January and April by 20 percent, compared with the same period in 2010 the report said.
However, going forward, it said a flurry of new hotels due to come online in H2, including the first properties on Saadiyat Island, would hinder market growth by putting downward pressure on average rates and hotel occupancy rates.
Al Nahyan said new supply was likely to be offset by new attractions and events lined up in the near future.
“The fact is that we have an up-scaled major events calendar, resort openings and compelling visitor package deals in the offing,” he said.
“This includes the third Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this November, nationwide celebrations this December to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, and the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet for a two-week, carnival-style stopover, starting December 30.”