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Momentum Builds As Abu Dhabi Hotels Record Best May On Record Guest Numbers And Nights, Length-Of-Stay, Occupancy And Revenues Climb India Leap Frogs UK As Emirate’s Largest Overseas Guest Market

July 3, 2013 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

Abu Dhabi’s 146 hotels and hotel apartments delivered ‘Best Ever’ May results last month with near across-the-board growth in key performance indicators.

Growth was recorded across guest arrivals, guest nights, average-length-of-stay, occupancy and revenues.

Last month 232,650 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation – a rise of 21% on May 2012, accounting for 716,041 guest nights, which is up 32% on the month-to-month comparison.

“This is an extremely heartening result as we look to achieve a greater traction to balance our supply-and demand equation,” said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which compiles the monthly figures. “We are particularly by growth in the average-length-of-stay, which has moved up 9% to 3.08 nights. This suggests that our campaign to convince travellers of our ‘more to see and do’ destination proposition is converting extended stays. While there is still much to be done, the results suggest we are on the right track.”

Occupancy rates nudged up 7% during May to 67% with total revenues climbing 22% to AED 439.5 milliion (US $119.7 million), which represents a 22% month-on-month growth. Room revenues rose 23% to AED 205.15 million (US $55.9 million) while food & beverage income grew 23% to AED 185.8 million (US $50.6 million). Average room rate was the only non-climber, it slipped a mere 1% to AED 401 (US $109).

Abu Dhabi has now experienced consistent arrivals growth every month this year and leaves it well placed to achieve its 2013 hotel guest target of 2.5 million.

To date, 1.1 million guests have stayed in the emirate’s hotels this year – a 12% rise on the first five months of 2012. The guests have delivered 3,573,854 guest nights – which is up 26% year-to-date with the average-length-of-stay moving up 13% to 3.25 nights. Year-to-date revenues have climbed 17% to AED 2.3 billion (US  million) of which f&b accounted for AED 908 million (US $247.3 million) and is up 15% on 2012. Average room rate in the first five months came in at AED 464 (US $126.3).

“The destination represents incredible value-for-money when consumers take into account the increasing high standard of accommodation and services offered,” said Al Muhairi.

“We have recognised the challenge of the traditional summer month slow down and, with keen stakeholder backing, are offering visitors incentives through the SummerFest Abu Dhabi campaign with its headline concerts, sports and family entertainment programme and ‘Thrilling Stays’ packages at over 40 hotels in the emirate which includes free tickets to our headline Yas Island attractions of Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.”

This May domestic tourism proved a stalwart for Abu Dhabi with a 9% growth in guests to 81,358. India took over from the UK as the emirate’s largest international source market with 15,091 Indians checking into Abu Dhabi – a 37% rise on 2012. The Indian guests delivered 54,734 guests nights – up 33% on last year and stayed, on average, 3.63 nights.

“India with its close proximity to Abu Dhabi and increasing air access emanating from Jet Airways’ move of its regional hub to Abu Dhabi International and the addition of services from Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi to the UAE capital, is an increasingly promising proposition for us,” said Al Muhairi.

“Following the landmark deal between Jet Airways and Etihad Airways, in which our own national carrier now owns as a 32% stake in the Indian airline, we can look forward to opening additional Indian gateways to Abu Dhabi with services from Bangalore, Amritsar, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Goa and Mangalore on the horizon further deepening our reach from the republic. We will support this in December with a five-city road show throughout India when we will reach out to the country’s travel trade to secure greater traction with these important influencers.”

The UK – traditionally Abu Dhabi’s leading overseas source market – ranked second in May with some 12,978 Britons checking into the emirate in May this year.

“The good news is that the UK is still achieving growth for us. Some 18% more UK nationals have checked into our hotels this  May than in the same period last  May and they are delivering increased number of guest nights and staying, on average, a healthy 4.59 nights,” explained Al Muhairi.

Germany, the destination’s third largest overseas source market is also in growth mode with 11,740 Germans checking into the destination in May – up 60% on last year.

“A key indicator from Germany is the increasing length-of-stay of the German guest – which is now 5,29 nights and is up 10% on last year,” said Al Muhairi.

Year-on-year the UK maintains its leading source market profile while Russian guests are proving the longest-stayers, averaging 6.17 nights.

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