Abu Dhabi welcomes 10.3 million international visitors in 2018, as India and China retain top source market positions
Abu Dhabi welcomed 10.3 million international visitors in 2018, powered by the addition of a host of new events and attractions.
The UAE capital, which has witnessed an increase in hotel guests to the emirate of 13.6 percent since the beginning of 2016, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
The cruise tourism sector alone provided more than 350,000 visitors to the emirate in 2018 while the emirate’s world-class cultural assets, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, attracted more than 2.6 million people.
Figures showed the number of hotel guests increased by 3.9 percent compared to 2017 at the emirate’s 168 hotels or hotel apartments.
The key markets of India, the US and China all posted double-digit growth for hotel guests in 2018 with India and China remaining the two top markets for overseas visitors, with the UK - the top European source market – rounding out the top three markets.
"We are incredibly pleased to see these positive metrics, as year on year we have exceeded the already ambitious targets set for Abu Dhabi’s growth," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi.
"We are now firmly established as a world-class cultural destination," he added.
He said several sectors have significantly contributed to Abu Dhabi’s growing appeal to international travellers, with cultural tourism perhaps the most prominent, while both cruise and medical tourism have also grown.