Abu Dhabi’s 152 hotels and hotel apartments had their best Q1 ever in terms of guest numbers, guest nights and revenue. Guest nights during Q1 2014 rose 22 per cent year-on-year to almost 2.6 million with occupancy averaging 79 per cent, up 8 per cent.
Total hotel revenues increased by 11 per cent to AED 1,585 billion (£231 million GBP) with food and beverage income also rising 11 per cent to AED595.4 million (£96 million GBP).
“This all makes for excellent reading particularly when taken in conjunction with the fact that the emirate’s accommodation inventory has grown significantly over the past year, by ten per cent,” said HE Jasem Al Darmaki, Deputy Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Q1 is characterised as a particularly busy period for major events in Abu Dhabi both from the leisure and business perspective while increasing air access is bringing new markets within our reach.”
The UK remains the emirate’s second largest overseas market with a 25 per cent increase in British guests in Q1 to 49,720. This delivered a 14 per cent upturn in guest nights with UK visitors staying, on average, close to four and a half nights.
Domestic tourism is performing well for the destination with 260,755 UAE nationals checking into Abu Dhabi, which is 29 per cent more than in Q1 last year.
Germany is the destination’s third largest international source market with a 16 per cent uplift in check ins to 36,921 guests.
Business from China has made huge strides with arrivals surging 208 per cent to 32,259, making the People’s Republic the destination’s fourth largest overseas source market.
“We expect even bigger returns from China for April after the staging of part of the mega NU SKIN incentive in Abu Dhabi this month,” explained Al Darmaki.
“During the NU SKIN incentive, around 6,000 of its guests stayed in 16 Abu Dhabi hotels and delivered 12,500 room nights which is almost double that of all Chinese guest stays in April last year.”
An additional 11 hotels have opened in Abu Dhabi since Q1 2013 bringing the emirate’s room stock to 26,811 compared to 24,416 this time last year. Increased competition within the market place has held back the average room rate which now stands at AED455 (£73 GBP).
“We are focussing heavily on promoting the emirate’s expanding tourism portfolio in a bid to increase the average length of stay, which is now just over three nights. We are also emphasising the affordability of the destination and the good value it represents to both the trade and consumers,” explained Al Darmaki.