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Abu Dhabi hotel guests up 18% to 2.8m

By Wam

Abu Dhabi’s hotels have had their best year yet in terms of guest arrivals, guest nights, length-of-stay and revenues.

Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that last year, 2,806,283 guests checked into the emirate’s 150 hotels and hotel apartments – a rise of 18 per cent on 2012 and beating TCA’s annual target of 2.5 million.

The 2013 guest intake delivered close to 8.8 million guest nights – a 26 per cent uplift on 2012 – with total revenue climbing 18 per cent to Dh5.48 billion (US $1.5 billion).

 "This is a highly satisfying performance particularly as we have seen 13 more hotels and hotel apartments open throughout 2013 and now have 10 per cent more hotel rooms, totalling just over 26,000, than we had at the end of 2012," said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi.

"Given the fact that we have now achieved the original hotel guest targets set for 2014, we have reviewed our goals and are uplifting our sights by 10 per cent. We are now looking to achieve 3.1 million hotel guests this year with a 10 per cent year-on-year compounded growth in the near term."

Over 2013, guests began to stay longer in the emirate with the average-length-of-stay edging up 7 per cent to 3.13 nights and with occupancy rising 9 per cent to 71 per cent.  Room revenue rose 21 per cent to Dh2.84 billion ($772.64 million) with food and beverage income climbing 17 per cent to Dh 2.1 billion ($574 million).

 Average room rate over the year slipped by 1 per cent to Dh447.60 ($122).

 Domestic tourism remained a mainstay of the destination, accounting for just over a third of all arrivals – 960,476 in total which grew 8 per cent on 2012.

India became Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market for hotel guests, attracting some 175,929 – a 27 per cent rise on 2012. Indian hotel guests delivered 691,383 guest nights – which was up 24 per cent.

The UKwas the second largest overseas producer, with 162,973 Britons checking into the emirate’s hotels last year - a 16 per cent lift on 2012. British arrivals accounted for 763,151 guest nights – 25 per cent more than 2012 and they stayed, on average, 4.68 nights – 7 per cent more than the previous year.

Germany came in as the third largest overseas source market with 119,590 hotel guests – a 24 per cent uplift on 2012. Germans delivered 583,339 guest nights, which was up 31 per cent on the previous year, and they stayed slightly longer (6 per cent) averaging 4.88 nights.

The longest stayers were Americans (5.53 nights), Russians (5.5 nights) and Italians (4.92 nights).

"We are quietly optimistic about reaching our revised 2014 target with new initiatives coming to market, including one which will incentivise the private events sector to bring their products to Abu Dhabi," said Sheikh Sultan.

"Last year’s excellent performance was achieved through greater stakeholder engagement and with the solid support of a growing and highly pro-active stakeholder base. We want to thank them for their efforts and believe that together, with a one-destination approach, we can continue our upward momentum."