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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Abu Dhabi hotel guest numbers up 7% in 2018 on increased arrivals from Asia

Government says it's on target to beat 2017’s record for hotel visitors by the end of the year

The landmark Yas Island hotel that straddles the Formula One track is set to become a W Hotel under the Marriott International brand from July 1. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
The landmark Yas Island hotel that straddles the Formula One track is set to become a W Hotel under the Marriott International brand from July 1. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi recorded a 7.3 per cent year-on-year rise in hotel guests in the first four months of 2018, boosted by growth in international target markets such as China and India.

A total of 1.7 million people stayed in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments over the period, according to the latest figures from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).

“We are making good progress in attracting more people to explore our emirate, as we make sure that awareness of our [tourism] and cultural proposition is communicated effectively and efficiently to our global markets,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.

The department’s use of targeted messages to key source markets “is being rewarded with solid growth as global awareness increases”, Mr Ghobash added.

In the four months to the end of April, the number of hotel guests from Abu Dhabi’s top international source market China rose 25.8 per cent to 164,500 compared with a year earlier, DCT said.

In second place, the total number of Indian visitors rose 26.8 per cent to 132,000, while the US market registered a 22.2 per cent increase, according to the figures. The number of hotel guests from the UK rose 13.7 per cent and from Germany by 16.9 per cent.

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“Our diversity of attractions, ever-growing year-round programme of events and established credentials for business and conventions provide us with persuasive reasons for travellers to choose the emirate as a logical visit destination,” Mr Ghobash said.

The latest figures put Abu Dhabi on track to achieve another record-breaking year for hotel guests by the end of 2018, according to the department. Last year, just under 5 million visitors stayed in hotels across Abu Dhabi city and the Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions, and Mr Ghobash told The National in February he expected about 6 million in 2018.

In the first four months of this year three of Abu Dhabi's regions registered increases in hotel guests, with Al Dhafra recording the biggest rise (11.7 per cent), followed by Abu Dhabi city (7.6 per cent) and Al Ain (3.2 per cent).

The number of UAE-based hotel guests also increased, to 489,081, up marginally from 488,881 in the year-earlier period.

“We are pleased to be so far on track to beat 2017’s numbers, but we are well aware that challenges are ever present, as we bid to boost the Abu Dhabi economy and support our drive for economic diversification,” Mr Ghobash added.