Guest arrivals to Abu Dhabi rose 17 per cent to reach 1.98 million in the first half of 2015, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Theses guests generated nearly 5.7 million nights in the emirate’s 163 hotel apartments and hotels, up 11 per cent from the same period last year.
Revenue for hotel establishments rose 8 per cent to reach Dhs 3.346bn in H1 2015 while room revenues grew by 11 per cent. Services such as venue hire and business events generated revenues worth Dhs 402m, up 22 per cent from the same period last year.
Abu Dhabi also saw a 2 per cent year-on-year increase in visitors in the month of June, receiving nearly 268,335 hotel guests. The number of nights generated by guests also leaped 13 per cent last month, TCA Abu Dhabi noted.
“We set ourselves a challenging guest arrivals target of 3.9 million hotel guests for this year, which we are very confident of achieving, especially given that our highly impressive half-year figures show double digit growth,” said TCA Abu Dhabi’s acting director general Jasem Al Darmaki.
“We remain committed to actively improve the average length of stay of our guests which has fallen by 5 per cent over the comparable period in 2014.”
Al Darmaki added that the emirate is expecting a busy second half of the year in terms of tourism as it readies to host events such as the extended 2015/2016 season of Abu Dhabi Classics, the annual F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art.
He said that TCA Abu Dhabi will also work to bring back the average length of stay closer to three nights.
India was Abu Dhabi’s largest international source market in H1 2015 with 127,312 Indians arriving into the emirate – an increase of 18 per cent from H1 2014. Indian tourists spent an average of 3.71 nights each in the emirate, well above the overall average of 2.89 nights.
Other major tourist source markets included the UK, China, Germany and the United States. There was also a 24 per cent rise in Philippine guest arrivals to 63,855. The remaining top ten source markets included Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.
Chinese visitors to Abu Dhabi during the period rose 72 per cent with 102,217 guest arrivals. However, their length of stay dropped by 18 per cent, TCA Abu Dhabi noted.
The largest drop was seen among Russian tourists, which fell by 10 per cent in H1 2015, mainly due to the difficult economic conditions in Russia, the capital’s tourism promotion agency said. In order to regenerate consumer interest, TCA Abu Dhabi said that it will be holding a number of events within Russia and other CIS states to promote the UAE capital and its tourism potential.
Although dwarfed when compared to neighbouring Dubai’s tourism numbers, Abu Dhabi has seen steady growth in visitors over the last two years. The emirate received nearly 1.37 million guests in the first four months of 2015 alone, growth of 20 per cent year-on-year.
The emirate has also invested massively in building tourist attractions and grand museums to lure visitors. Projects such as the Louvre, the Guggenheim and Zayed National Museum are currently being constructed as the emirate looks to tap into a tourist boom in the coming years.