Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments continued their strong performance in the first five months of this year with increases in guest numbers, guest nights, occupancy, revenue and length-of-stay, according to the latest figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
Hotel guest numbers climbed 10% from January to May end compared to the same period last year rising to 866,501, while guest nights climbed 26% to 2,615,503. Occupancy increased 10% to 71%, revenue was up 6% to AED 1.9 billion (US $513m) while average length-of-stay expanded by 15% to just over three nights.
“Increased destination competitiveness with average room rates falling 15% year-on-year for high quality product has contributed to our appeal,” said Lawrence Franklin, Strategy & Policy Director, ADTA. “Hotel stays in Abu Dhabi are now more affordable than other established upscale destinations including Dubai, Paris, Sydney, New York, Rome and Tokyo.”
Abu Dhabi’s year- to-date hotel occupancy and rev-par performance is also stronger than many global cities including Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Airies, Los Angeles, Madrid and Tokyo.
Despite a fall off in average room rates, hotel room revenues increased by 5%. Food and beverage continued to be a major revenue earner contributing 10% more than in the first five months of 2010.
International markets performed well with the UK maintaining pole position as Abu Dhabi’s key guest source. From January-May some 62,022 British nationals stayed in the emirate’s hotels, a 17% increase on the first five months of 2010. Other double-digit growth came from India, from where guests rose 22% to 41,072; Germany, which increased 15% to 30,008; Saudi Arabia, which increased 39% to 22,546; France, which was up 33% to 21,501; Italy, which rose 20% to 13,944; Russia which rocketed 46% to 6,323 and Kuwait, which was up 14% to 6,285.
Having full time promotional representation on the ground in Moscow has no doubt contributed to this result and we will build on this with the opening of a dedicated office there,” said Franklin. “The recent launch of our on-the-ground presence in the USA should soon produce results with plans to work with two of the main American travel distribution arms and the ongoing development of Etihad’s Essential Abu Dhabi incentive stop-over programme is further enhancing our destination proposition.
“Summer is expected to be quieter though we are looking for offsets from our Summer in Abu Dhabi festival but given the celebration of the Holy Month of Ramadan in August, we have to be sanguine about expectations.
“The destination is, though, gearing up for a hectic final quarter which sees the opening of no less than 10 new major luxury properties – many upscaling our beach offering – as well as a packed events programme surrounding November’s third staging of the F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; December’s celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and ADNEC’s hosting of World Green Tourism conference and exhibition culminating in a grand year-end finale with the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and the major activations surrounding this which will make Abu Dhabi the Middle East destination to be in to welcome in 2012.
“We also anticipate accrued benefits from increased air uplift such as the recent launch of Cathay Pacific’s four-times-weekly services from Hong Kong and Etihad’s planned upscaling of its Manchester-Abu Dhabi frequencies to twice daily from August.”
Caption: Etihad’s upscaled twice-daily Manchester-Abu Dhabi service from August to aid destination’s air accessibility