The UK remains Abu Dhabi’s top international market for visitors with a 20 per cent rise in travellers, to 72,998, for first half of 2011.
The emirate recorded its best-ever, first-half hotel results with rises in all its key performance indicators including guest numbers, guest nights, occupancy, revenue and length-of-stay from January – June 2011.
“The results have been assisted by the destination’s heightened competitiveness with average room rates falling by 15 per cent in the first half compared to last year making Abu Dhabi a more affordable upscale option than Sydney, Paris, New York or Tokyo,” said Abu Dhabi Tourism Agency Chairman HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, releasing the results.
The figures from ADTA show total hotel guest numbers coming to the emirate were up 11 per cent to top a million, with over three million guests nights (up 26%).
Occupancy rates are also on the rise, up 10 per cent to 70 per cent, according to ADTA numbers. Revenue climbed six per cent to AED2.26bn (£0.3bn), the authority said, and average-length-of-stay expanded 13 per cent to 2.97 nights.
Sheikh Sultan described the latest figures as “an impressive performance and one which bodes well for the destination achieving its stretch target of two million guests by the end of this year”.
Sheikh Sultan added the second-half of the year could prove stellar for the destination despite the planned opening of a flurry of major hotel properties.
“We have an up-scaled major events calendar, superior resort openings and compelling visitor package deals in the offing. This includes the third Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this November, nationwide celebrations this December to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and the Volvo Ocean Race fleet for a two-week stopover starting 30 December 30.
Some ten luxury, five-star resorts are due on stream in Abu Dhabi by the end of the year.
Destinations making significant contributions to the overall figures, apart form the UK, are India, where visitor numbers are up 22 per cent; Germany (15%); Saudi Arabia (44%); France (29%); Italy (22%), Australia (18%); Kuwait (19%) and Russia (40%).
“We have benefited from on-the-ground representation in Russia and anticipate further increases from the US and Saudi Arabia where on-the-ground representation has recently been activated,” said Sheikh Sultan.
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