The estimated demand for hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi by 2012 has been increased by 4,000 to 25,000, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) figures.
The rise is a result of the capital’s booming tourism industry, with authorities predicting 2.7 million visitors will stay in hotels in Abu Dhabi in 2012, which is 12.5 per cent more than initially predicted by ADTA in 2004.
The revised figures were included in the authority’s plan for 2008 to 2012, which was unveiled on Sunday.
ADTA Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan has announced a plan that will see 13,000 new rooms being built in the emirate in the next five years.
“The plan was finalised after an extensive strategic planning process, which highlighted the opportunity Abu Dhabi has been gifted with to capitalise on its location, natural resources, climate and wonderful culture,” said Sheikh Sultan during a presentation for media and officials from the hospitality and tourism industry.
He said focus on the tourism sector is an important component of the emirate’s strategy to diversity its economy away from dependence on hydrocarbons.
“As our economy evolves, we have an opportunity to become an internationally recognised business and leisure destination. However, along with this comes a responsibility to ensure that we develop a tourism strategy that respects our culture, values and heritage and supports other government initiatives, including the attraction of inward investment. We believe our new five-year plan addresses this potential and need for accountability.”
Abu Dhabi is keeping ahead of the global trend towards increased tourism, he added. “According to the World Tourism Council, the industry was worth $8 trillion in 2007 and is projected to cross $15trn in the next decade. The annual growth in the industry is at 4.4 per cent, providing 29,000 new jobs in the next few years. It also accounts for 2.5 per cent of the world GDP. The Middle East region will witness an annual growth of 5.2 per cent in the next few years.”
According to earlier reports, the value of tourism projects in Abu Dhabi crossed Dh305 billion by the end of last year.
Mubarak Al Muhairi, ADTA director general, agreed with Sheikh Sultan and added that while revolutionary, the five-year plan is based on the overriding principle of managed growth.
Abu Dhabi plans to offer 13,000 hotel rooms by 2013