x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Checking in - Saudis, Russians and Indians boost Abu Dhabi hotel trade

The number of guests checking in to Abu Dhabi's hotels rose 10 per cent in the first four months of the year, according to data from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

An increase in visitors from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and India, helped Abu Dhabi achieve double-digit increase in the number of guests checking into its hotels in the first four months of the year, newly released figures show.

A total of 694,181 guests stayed in the first four months of the year, up 10 per cent on the same period last year, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) reported.

Hoteliers say that Abu Dhabi has benefitted from major conferences and sporting and entertainment events, such as the series of concerts Yas Island, as well as from the unrest in some parts of the region, as travellers have sought stable destinations.

"Other forward drivers are increasing air links including this week's launch by Cathay Pacific of four times weekly flights from Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi," said Lawrence Franklin, the director of strategy and policy at the ADTA,

The number of guests from Saudi Arabia rose 46 per cent in the first four months of the year to 19,375.

Russia, which ADTA has been actively targeting for tourists, provided 50 per cent more guests than in the first four months of last year, reaching 5,459, the ADTA said.

The number of visitors from India, which is the emirate's second biggest international source market for hotel guests after the UK, increased by 29 per cent to 33,073.

The total number of guest nights in hotels in the emirate increased 26 per cent to 2.1 million from January to April. Occupancy levels were up 10 per cent to 72 per cent and the average length of stay increased by 14 per cent to just over three nights.

But competition between hotels meant that average room rates fell 15 per cent compared to the first four months of last year to Dh545, resulting in a 6 per cent decline in revenue per available room to Dh394.42.

With new hotels having opened in the emirate in the past year, total hotel revenues for the first four months of this year rose 7 per cent to Dh1.6 billion.

Room revenue made up Dh877,828,948 of this, a 5 per cent increase on last year, while while food & beverage grew 11 per cent to Dh576,264,725.