Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy rates rise in H1, 2010

Guest Writer

Abu Dhabi recorded a 16% rise in its number of hotel guests in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2009.Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) show some 936,579 guests stayed in the emirate’s 116 hotels and hotel apartments from January-June this year with guest nights rising 11% on the first half of 2009 to stand at 2.47 million.”We are now well above our targeted annual growth of 10% and have seen double- digit monthly growth since last November’s staging of Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA.The domestic market proved to be a mainstay during the first half recording a 20% rise on the same period in 2009 and accounting 397,547 guests. The UK was the most productive overseas market with an 18% rise on 2009 taking British guest arrivals to 60,994.”Overall the international market grew by a healthy 13% which is highly encouraging as it is a reversal of last year’s scenario,” explained Al Muhairi.The GCC region again proved to be a key source market with guest arrivals growing by 30% over the year to 52,505.Significantly, Abu Dhabi appears to be building its traditionally slow summer period with hotel guests in June this year rising 17% on June 2009. Abu Dhabi’s increased accommodation stock has changed market place dynamics. Over the past six months, occupancy levels have fallen by 18% but are still a relatively healthy 64% and revenue dropped by 5% to AED 2.1 billion (approx. US $572 million).”Certainly Abu Dhabi has become a more competitive marketplace than this time last year which is assisting in building our proposition within the international trade arena,” said Al Muhairi.Abu Dhabi’s increased hotel inventory has also heightened the emirate’s food and beverage offering with revenues showing solid growth of 14% over the past six months compared to the first half of 2009. F&B revenue now account for 39% of all hotel revenues - compared to 33% this time last year.The ADTA Director General said the authority is working with its stakeholders to try and increase the average length of stay of hotel guests, which currently stands at 2.6 nights.ADTA has targeted a 10% overall rise in hotel guests this year compared to 2009 to take arrivals to 1.65 million.

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