Abu Dhabi achieved a 26% uplift in hotel guest arrivals last month compared to July 2013, with guest nights climbing 20% year-on-year, occupancy nudging up 3% and revenues rising 14%.
Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that 215,286 guests checked into the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments in July delivering 653,165 guest nights with occupancy coming in at 55%. Hotel revenues for the month were AED 317 million (US $85.7 million) with food & beverage accounting for AED126,416,520 (US $34.5 million), which is up 9% year-on-year.
Occupancy varied considerably throughout the month reaching 52% for Ramadan and rising to a peak of 81% during Eid Al Fitr.
“A full programme of Abu Dhabi Summer Season and cultural events along with the Eid breaks helped build the figures,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, Deputy Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “We still have an issue with average-length-of-stay, which dipped by 5% this July compared to last and we are looking closely at initiatives which will address this concern.
“Though there is still additional ground to cover, we have to see the advances made against the backdrop of a destination which has seen a 10% increase in hotel room inventory this year compared to last.”
Abu Dhabi emirate now has 157 hotels and hotel apartments offering a total of 27,928 rooms.
The July performance means that Abu Dhabi received 1,915,421 hotel guests in the first seven months of the year – a 27% rise on the same period in 2013. The arrivals translated into 5.8 million guest nights – a jump of 22% on 2013 with an occupancy of 73%, which was up 8% on the comparative period. Hotel revenues for the first seven months climbed 15% to AED3.4 billion (US $928.6 million) with f&b income rising 12% to AED 1.3 billion (US $356 million). Average room rate is running at AED422 (US $115).
“If we can maintain this momentum we will achieve, if not surpass, our guest target for this year of 3.1 million,” explained Al Darmaki. “We are quietly confident of reaching the target given that the remainder of the year features a packed calendar of events including the huge oil and gas conference ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the World Cup of Sailing and, of course, the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in December.”
Year-to-date, Abu Dhabi has experienced a 25% rise in domestic hotel guest arrivals with 643,136 guests from the UAE checking into its accommodation and accounting for 1,467,379 guest nights – which is up 24%. The domestic guest is staying, on average 2.28 nights.
India remains the emirate’s most productive overseas market. Year-to-date 124,912 Indians have stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels which is a 35% hike delivering 475,177 guest nights, which is up 24% and staying, on average, 3.8 nights.
“We see further potential in the Indian market particularly given the plansby Etihad Airways to launch daily flights to Abu Dhabi next February from the West Bengal capital of Kolkata,” added Al Darmaki.
The UK is the emirate’s second largest overseas market with 108,456 Britons checking into Abu Dhabi from January to July, which is an increase of 26% year-on-year. The British guests accounted for 468,223 guest nights – a rise of 15% – and stayed, on average, 4.32 nights.
“Again there is further potential waiting in the UK with Etihad’s planned flights from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi due to begin next June,” added Al Darmaki.
Germany is the third largest overseas market with 72,641 Germans staying in Abu Dhabi in the first seven months of this year – a 7% rise on last year. The Germans delivered 348,843 guest nights, which is an 8% uplift and stayed, on average, 4.8 nights.
“We are also seeing considerable improvement in arrivals from the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Canada, Russia, Kuwait and the Netherlands,” explained Al Darmaki.
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