Abu Dhabi sees 10% rise in visitors in Q1

More than 37,000 UK tourists lead rush to the UAE capital while Indian visitors also up 28%
Abu Dhabi sees 10% rise in visitors in Q1
A general view of Abu Dhabi. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 29 Apr 2011 10:04 AM

Abu Dhabi saw a 10 percent rise in hotel guests in the first quarter of this year, with increases also recorded for guest nights, occupancy levels, revenue and length of stay.

According to the latest figures from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), some 510,114 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels in the first three months of this year producing 1.56 million guest nights - up by a quarter on the same period in 2010.

March alone achieved a nine percent rise in hotel guests with some 180,931 people checking into the emirate's hotels, ADTA added.

While the Q1 mainstay was the domestic market, the UK came in as the top overseas producer with 37,710 guests during the quarter - a 20 percent rise on Q1 2010.

India rose to be the second largest overseas producer with its 23,614 Q1 turnout being up 28 percent on the same time last year while the US was in third place with 23,190 guests.

Regionally, Saudi Arabia proved to be the top GCC source market with 13,119 guests - up 44 percent on 2010 producing 29,327 guest nights, leaving the kingdom in 6th place on the international market rankings.

Abu Dhabi's occupancy rate for the quarter reached 72 percent, ADTA said, up 10 percent on the year earlier figure while room revenues climbed six percent to AED679m.

Average room rates fell 15 percent in Q1, with tourism officials saying this was largely attributed to increased competition in the Abu Dhabi market which now includes 18,800 hotel rooms with a further 4,000 due on line by the end of the year.

"Overall the prognosis is good," said ADTA's director of strategy and policy Lawrence Franklin. "We have set our sights on two million hotel guests this year and if the Q1 performance can be sustained throughout the remainder of 2011, we will certainly achieve our target."

He added: "It's been a sterling first quarter performance...We have also benefited from our reputation as a safe and stable destination during the period of uncertainty being experienced by some Arab nations."

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