Abu Dhabi Reports Increases in Tourist Visits, Spending
Abu Dhabi’s tourism is steadily rising and, with the official opening of its U.S. tourism office, it expects to see increased visitors from the U.S. Hotels and hotel apartments throughout Abu Dhabi receiving 12 percent more guests in May this year, compared to May last year. Some 192,374 guests stayed in the emirate’s accommodation in May this year, accounting for 542,567 guest nights -- a rise of 7 percent on May last year.
Total hotel revenue climbed 3 percent on May 2011 to stand at AED360 million ($98 million). Food and beverage accounted for AED151.3 million ($41.2 million) -- a month-on-month rise of 14 percent -- while room revenue over the same period decreased 4 percent to AED167.32 million ($45.5 million). Reflecting increased room supply throughout the emirate -- the number of rooms available has risen 13 percent since May 2011 -- hotel occupancy in May reached 63 percent, an 8 percent slip on the comparative month last year. The average length of stay decreased 4 percent on May 2011 to come in at 2.82 days.
“Average length of stay is a key performance indicator we are now actively addressing through our intensive Summer in Abu Dhabi campaign. By offering a range of discounted activities and family-orientated entertainment programs, we are providing more incentives to guests to visit the emirate and stay for longer,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which has released the monthly figures.
The May results leave Abu Dhabi well placed to achieve its 2012 hotel guest target of 2.3 million, with TCA Abu Dhabi anticipating gradual pick up from the U.S. and Saudi Arabian markets over the coming months following its recent openings of dedicated offices in New York and Jeddah. “In both countries we are now engaging with the outbound travel trade to produce significant packaging around stays of five nights and more,” said Al Muhairi.
So far this year, Abu Dhabi’s accommodation providers have received 984,045 guests -- a 14 percent increase on the first five months of last year. Guest nights over the same period have risen 8 percent to 2,834,886. Year-to-date occupancy stands at 66 percent -- a dip of 7 percent on last year -- though revenue has risen 2 percent to stand at AED2 billion ($544.5 million). Domestic tourism also continued to perform well last month growing by 47 percent on May 2011, while inbound GCC guests increased 20 percent. Guests from Asia rose 33 percent and Europe turned in a 15 percent growth.
The GCC’s guest performance increase was primarily driven by an influx of Qataris (35 percent), followed by Kuwaitis (20 percent) then Saudi Arabians (19 percent). Asia’s guest performance was largely due to growth from China (137 percent), the Philippines (71 percent), and India (38 percent), while growth from Europe was spearheaded by growth from Germany (45 percent).