Food and beverage sales last month were the main driver of an increase in total hotel revenues in Abu Dhabi, as the emirate grows as a destination for dining and going out.
Revenues from hotel restaurants and bars grew 5 per cent last month compared with October last year, while revenues from rooms rose 1 per cent, data released yesterday by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)showed.
"I think with the arrival of new hotels opening great outlets is definitely positioning Abu Dhabi better as a gourmet destination," said Patrick Martinez, the general manager of the Yas Island Rotana and Centro Yas Island hotels. "Food and beverage as a volume has grown in Abu Dhabi."
The data shows falling room rates, which declined 11 per cent last month, also mean food and beverage sales are accounting for a growing share of cash flows into hotels in the capital.
"Food and beverage revenue continues to make a positive contribution to bottom-line performance providing 37 per cent of total revenue or year-to-date revenue of Dh1.27 billion [US$345.7 million], a climb of 9 per cent," according to ADTA. There was a 2 per cent increase in total hotel revenues last month to Dh410m, compared with October last year.
UAE residents are more likely to spend afternoons or evenings at hotel restaurants or cafes than their counterparts elsewhere.
Mr Martinez said an increase in events in Abu Dhabi, including concerts on Yas Island, had helped to bring more visitors to the capital and increase spending on food and beverage.
A total of 182,553 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels last month, up 21 per cent on a year earlier.
Occupancy was up 7 per cent. But the 11 per cent decline in room rates to an average Dh489.06 means revenue per available room fell 5 per cent to Dh377.02.
Lawrence Franklin, the strategy and policy director at ADTA, said the signs were good for achieving the tourism agency's target for this year of two million hotel guests, with this month's figures expected to be boosted from the staging of the F1 race in the capital.