x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Hotel rates capped for Gastech

Hotel rates will again be capped to prevent over pricing during a major gas and oil industry conference, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority confirms.

ABU DHABI // Hotel rates will again be capped to prevent over pricing during a major gas and oil industry conference, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has confirmed. Minimum stays will also be dropped during this year's Gastech event, from May 25 to 28. Organisers of past conferences have said the capital's room rates, among the highest in the world, are driving business tourism away. It is the fourth time the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has intervened to set a limit to hotel charges during a conference.

Caps were first imposed during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, or Adipec, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in November. The ceiling was calculated from the average corporate rate of all the establishments. Caps were imposed again during the World Future Energy Summit and the International Defence Exhibition. Tony Stephenson, an event director for the Gastech conference, praised the tourism authority's decision. "As a direct result, we expect even more business leaders from the gas industry to register for the forthcoming Gastech event," he said. The price of hotel rooms has been known to triple during major conferences. During Adipec, organisers said hotels had been proposing to charge up to US$1,000 (Dh3,670) for a night. .

Similar price increases have already been noted by fans planning to attend the Formula 1 race in the capital in November. Five-star hotels are asking as much as Dh4,500 per night and demanding guests stay for at least five nights. Abu Dhabi suffers from a dearth of hotel rooms. The tourism authority has set a target of 27,000 rooms by 2012, more than double the current stock of 13,000. jgerson@thenational.ae