By Andrew White
UAE capital's increased room capacity leads to 18% occupancy fall, revenues decline by 5%.
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has said the emirate recorded a 16 percent rise in its hotel guest performance in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2009.
Official figures show some 936,579 guests stayed in the UAE capital’s 116 hotels and hotel apartments between January and June this year, with guest nights rising 11 percent on the first half of 2009 to stand at 2.47 million.
The ADTA also said that Abu Dhabi appears to be building its traditionally slow summer period with hotel guests in June 2010 rising 17 percent on June last year.
However, the capital’s increased accommodation stock has meant that over the past six months, occupancy levels have fallen by 18 percent to around 64 percent, and revenue dropped by 5 percent to approximately $570m.
"We are now well above our targeted annual growth of 10 percent and have seen double-digit monthly growth since last November's staging of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix," said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general of the ADTA.
"Certainly Abu Dhabi has become a more competitive marketplace than this time last year which is assisting in building our proposition within the international trade arena," he added.
According to the ADTA, visitors from within the UAE proved to be a mainstay during the first half, recording a 20 percent rise on the same period in 2009 and accounting for 397,547 guests. The UK was the most productive overseas market with an 18 percent rise on 2009 taking British guest arrivals to 60,994.
"Overall the international market grew by a healthy 13 percent which is highly encouraging as it is a reversal of last year's scenario," said Al Muhairi.
Abu Dhabi's increased hotel inventory has also heightened the emirate's food and beverage offering, ADTA said, with revenues showing growth of 14 percent over the past six months compared to the first half of 2009. F&B revenue now account for 39 percent of all hotel revenues, compared to 33 percent this time last year, the official body said.
ADTA has targeted a 10 percent overall rise in hotel guests this year compared to 2009 to take arrivals to 1.65 million.