Tourism is roaring ahead across the UAE - with Abu Dhabi clocking up a 27 per cent increase in visitors last month compared with the same month last year.
Numbers were boosted by the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix and a series of world class rock concerts.
Dubai's tourism industry is making gains too, with the number of hotel visitors in the emirate growing by almost 6 per cent in the first nine months of the year to 5.9 million. That compares with 5.6 million guests during the same period last year, according to the latest figures from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) released last month's results yesterday, which showed a 27 per cent increase in hotel guests compared with the same month last year, with 169,001 visitors staying in the emirate. Guest nights surged by 42 per cent compared to the same month last year to 544,753. That made last month the second highest performer of this year after February.
Occupancy levels rose by 18 per cent to 77 per cent , average length of stay increased from 2.88 nights to 3.2, while monthly revenue climbed by 24 per cent to Dh509 million (US$138.58m).
Last month's results took Abu Dhabi's hotel guest performance for the first 11 months of the year to more than 1.6 million.
"There is no doubt that the staging of the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and it being the finale to the season, had a strong positive influence on November's hotel statistics," said Lawrence Franklin, the strategy and policy director at ADTA.
"The impact of the Grand Prix, the recently opened Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Yas Island Show Weekends, mean it is now certain that we will surpass our annual target."
Dubai is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Middle East and heavily promoted itself during the global downturn with package deals from airlines and hotels.
Its latest marketing campaign, "Definitely Dubai", includes a website where prospective visitors can learn about activities available in the emiratesuch as bowling, climbing, cycling and falconry. The emirate's efforts are in collaboration with major international tourism companies.
Because of the increase in guests, hotel revenues grew 5.6 per cent to Dh9.23 billion (Dh2.51bn) in the first nine months of this year, compared with Dh8.7bn over the same period last year. In addition, the agency said occupancy rates for hotel apartments increased by 2 per cent during the first nine months of the year, reaching 66 per cent compared with 64 per cent in the same period last year.
The January to September statistics figures growth were slightly lower than figures those released by the tourism agency for the first six months of this year.
The DTCM said 4.18 million guests stayed in the emirate's hotels between January and June, a gain of nine 9 per cent compared with 3.85 million guests in the same period last year. The number of hotel rooms and hotel apartments increased during the first three quarters of this year by 16 per cent, from 59,372 rooms and hotel apartments in the first three quarters of last year to 68,654 in the same period this year.
In addition, the number of hotels operating in Dubai reached 565 in the first three quarters of this year compared with 533 in the same period last year, an increase of 6 per cent.
The DTCM report follows research this month from Deloitte that said hotel occupancy in Dubai increased by 2.9 per cent in the first 10 months of the year compared with the same period last year.