Abu Dhabi Q1 hotel guest returns up by almost third occupancy climbs 8% year-on-year

May 1, 2014 4:46 pm

Abu Dhabi’s 152 hotels and hotel apartments have had their best Q1 ever in terms of guest numbers, guest nights and revenue.

Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that in the first three months of this year 834,771 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation, a climb of 32% on Q1 2013.

Guest nights delivered during Q1 2014 rose 22% year-on-year to almost 2.6 million with occupancy averaging 79%, which is up 8%. Total hotel revenues increased by 11% to Dhs1,585bn ($389.9m) with food & beverage income rising 11% to Dhs595.4m ($162m).

“This all makes for excellent reading particularly when judged against the fact that the emirate’s accommodation inventory has grown significantly over the past year with a 10% increase in room availability,” 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,” he added.

An additional 11 hotels have opened in Abu Dhabi since Q1 2013 and the emirate’s room stock now stands at 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 ($124).

“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 to both the trade and consumers the affordability of the destination and the value-for-money it represents,” explained Al Darmaki.

Domestic tourism is performing well for the destination with 260,755 UAE nationals checking into Abu Dhabi, which is 29% more than in Q1 last year. They delivered 603,120 guest nights, which is up 30% and stayed, on average, 2.31 nights. India is the emirate’s largest international source market accounting for 50,291 guests during Q1 – a 39% year-on-year improvement. Indian guests delivered 196,208 guest nights, which was a 14% increase and stayed, on average, just short of four nights.

We envisage greater throughput from India with the opening of Etihad Airways’ services from Jaipur to Abu Dhabi International and the additional exposure the emirate has gained within India by the staging of some of the IPL’s seventh season matches in Abu Dhabi. The UK came in as the emirate’s second largest overseas market with a 25% rise in British guests to 49,720 who delivered a 14% upturn in guest nights to 213,705 staying, on average, close to four and a half nights. Germany is the destination’s third largest international source market with a 16% uplift in check ins to 36,921 guests. Germans accounted for 172,783 guest nights and stayed close to five nights.

Business from China has made huge strides with arrivals surging 208% to 32,259 making the People’s Republic the destination’s fourth largest overseas source market. Chinese arrivals in Q1 delivered 50,253 guest nights – which more than doubled to 139% on the first three months of last year. Chinese guests are staying, on average just short of two nights.

“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. We are conscious of the potential of the Chinese market, as are our stakeholders who are increasingly tailoring product for this segment. Our task now is to build both the number of arrivals from the People’s Republic and convince their travellers to stay longer. Our successful Access Abu Dhabi trade engagement programme, which we launched last year in conjunction with Etihad Airways, has now been extended to China and we can expect more visitors from the Republic towards the end of this year, beginning of next. We have also taken part, for the first time as a destination in the recent IT&CM fair in Shanghai where we were joined by six stakeholders and received a very positive response. Also in May we will, with nine stakeholders, including Etihad Airways, conduct a road show throughout five cities in China namely Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This will be a whistle-stop promotion carried out in the space of five days. We are also looking into staging themed retail store promotions with some Chinese tour operators,” he concluded.

For more information please contact:
Mariam Ibrahim Al Sayed Al Hashmi
Marketing Communications Executive | Marketing and Communications Sector
TCA Abu Dhabi
Dir: +97124181165