Abu Dhabi hotels' first-quarter revenues surge
The emirate attracted nearly 1.3 million hotel guests in the first three months of the year as it hosts more events
Abu Dhabi recorded a marginal increase in the number of hotel guests in the first quarter as the capital hosted a slew of events and opened new attractions to boost its appeal as a tourism destination.
The emirate hosted nearly 1.3 million hotel guests in the first three months of the year, up 0.5 per cent from 1.28m guests during the same period last year, according to Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism. Hotels recorded a 16 per cent increase in revenues during the period as occupancy levels reached 79 per cent and average room revenue increased 15 per cent.
"These numbers confirm our strong start to 2019 and that our efforts and strategic planning are proving successful," said Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.
The capital is vying to grow its travel and tourism industry to diversify the economy away from oil and is ramping up efforts to promote itself as a culture and heritage destination. With the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the only regional presence of France’s world famous museum, the emirate has widened its art and culture offering.
In the first quarter, events such as the AFC Asian Cup, Idex exhibition, Special Olympics World Games, and the Retail Abu Dhabi (RAD) shopping festival, alongside the popularity of new attractions such as Warner Bros World, contributed to the emirate's tourism offerings.
Abu Dhabi saw a 51 per cent rise in visitors arriving for leisure purposes in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2018.
On average, hotel guests stayed longer in Abu Dhabi, with the average length of stay increasing 2.1 per cent in the first quarter compared to the prior-year period, the DCT said.
Average length of stays for visitors from the UK, China, India and Saudi Arabia increased, DCT said, without providing figures.
The second quarter of the year is a "reliable period" for attracting tourists, with events such as the Al Dhafra Water Festival, the Jiu Jitsu Championship and Eid Festival, the DCT said.
"We will continue to focus on our key markets in the second quarter of this year, promoting more world-class events," Mr Ghobash said.
"We are confident that we will build on our strong start to the year, and we look forward to seeing our metrics in positive territory as we head towards summer.”
Updated: May 8, 2019 04:01 PM