Abu Dhabi registers 14pc growth in hotel guests
Abu Dhabi, December 29, 2012
The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi’s 137 hotels, resorts and hotel apartments from January to November end this year grew 14 per cent to hit 2.17 million compared to the same period last year beating the overall 2011 tally.
Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that the year-on-year hotel revenues in emirate surged 6 per cent to hit Dh4.2 billion ($1.2 billion) with food & beverage accounting for Dh1.6 billion – a 12 per cent increase on the same period in 2011.
According to TCA Abu Dhabi, some 2,171,680 hotel guests stayed in the emirate’s accommodation during the 11 months of this year thus beating last year’s overall performance.
The guests accounted for 6,312,359 guest nights, up 11 per cent over last year, it stated.
“This is extremely encouraging particularly when viewed in context of the significant number of rooms we now have available, which currently stands at 23,516,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, the director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“We are very positive about achieving our 2.3 million guest target for this year, and ending 2012 on a satisfactory note while looking forward to attaining more guest gains during 2013 when we have a mainline attraction and new resorts opening.”
Abu Dhabi is currently gearing up for the January opening of the much anticipated Yas Waterworld waterpark and the first quarter opening of the luxury beachfront Ritz Carlton Grand Canal Abu Dhabi – a five star resort which will mark the entry of the prestigious Ritz Carlton brand into the UAE capital.
Last month proved to be the busiest this year in terms of guest nights with some 207,335 guests accounting for 676,593 guest nights. November’s results remained static in terms of guest numbers compared to the same month last year though guest nights rose 10 per cent
“November’s lengthier stays are likely down to the staging of the Grand Prix and an acceptance of the lead-up marketing campaign which focused on spelling out just how much there now is to do and see in Abu Dhabi,” said Al Muhairi.
The year-on-year hotel revenues in Abu Dhabi surged 6 per cent to hit Dh4.2 billion ($1.2 billion) with food & beverage accounting for Dh1.6 billion ($439 million) – a 12 per cent increase on the same period in 2011.
The increasing room availability reflected on rate pressures with occupancy down 6 per cent year-on-year to 65 per cent, average room rates dipping 8 per cent to Dh452.5 and revenue per available room down 13 per cent to Dh293.48.
“Competition has put our luxury proposition in a very affordable bracket which will assist our ever increasing efforts to attract more guests and encourage them to stay longer,” explained Al Muhairi.
During the year, hotel guest growth has been recorded across all key markets with the strongest coming from Africa – up 34 per cent, Asia, which has increased 30 per cent and the GCC, which has climbed 20 per cent.
Africa’s high growth rate was primarily increased by South Africa, which increased 14 per cent. Asia’s performance was primarily driven by growth from China (76 per cent), Russia (44 per cent) and India (30 per cent), said the official.
According to Al Muhairi, the domestic tourism was proving robust with 814,115 hotel guests from within the UAE accounting for a 9 per cent year-on-year growth.
Internationally, the UK remains Abu Dhabi’s key overseas market for hotel guests with 129,180 British staying in the emirate from Jan-November this year, a 2 per cent increase on 2011. In total the British guests accounted for 557,735 guest nights, a small dip of 1 per cent on last year with them staying on average for 4.32 nights.
India is proving to be Abu Dhabi’s land of opportunity now ranking as the destination’s second largest overseas source market for hotel guests. Between January and November this year, 125,180 Indians stayed in the emirate – a 30 per cent increase on 2011.
Indian guests accounted for 496,581 guest nights – a rise of 34 per cent - and stayed, on average, for 3.97 nights.
“To date we have tested the water with participation in annual trade fairs in India and a yearly road show which have proved so worthwhile that we are now finalising the appointment of full-time representatives for the country, are planning a five-city New Year road show in partnership with Lama Tours, which has now opened an office in Abu Dhabi,to specifically target the Indian market,” added Al Muhairi.
“Indeed, the prospects are now such that if the growth rates from India and the UK remain as they are currently trending, India will emerge as our largest source market for hotel guests in 2014.”
Germany is the destination’s third largest overseas source market with 85,471 Germans staying in the emirate’s accommodation from Jan-November, a 43 per cent increase on 2011. In total the German guests delivered 390,458 guest nights – a rise of 39 per cent on last year and stayed, on average, 4.57 nights.-TradeArabia News Service