The timing of Ramadan and Eid has helped the number of guests staying in hotels in Abu Dhabi rise by 26 per cent in September compared to the same month last year, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said today.
Abu Dhabi has seen a 16 per cent rise in hotel guests in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year, while there has been a 14 per cent increase in the number of guest nights, the ADTA said.
However this growth has still been outpaced by the number of new hotel rooms that have come into the market.
The ADTA said that additional room capacity was continuing to affect overall occupancy levels, which fell 17 per cent year-on-year, while average room rates were down by 21 per cent.
The UK is the main overseas market for Abu Dhabi with growth of 50 per cent in the first nine months of the year, to 83,239 guests.
Lawrence Franklin, the strategy and policy director at ADTA, said: "We are now well within striking distance of our 2010 hotel guest target of 1.65 million." The ADTA expects a 15 per cent increase in guest numbers next year.
Mr Franklin said: "With the addition to our leisure stock of the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park and with the emirate readying to host major events, such as November's Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference and the first World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi conference and exhibition, the prognosis is good.".
The figures showed that 1,326,463 guests stayed in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments in the first nine months of the year.
Total revenue across Abu Dhabi's hotels is up, but is shared among more properties.
Mr Franklin said:"Revenue in September benefited from the same factors, it rose by 12 per cent on 2009. Year-to-date, food and beverage revenues recorded a 15 per cent growth and have become an increasingly important factor, now accounting for 37 per cent of all revenues, compared to 33 per cent this time last year."