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Abu Dhabi welcomes more than 10 million visitors in 2018

Abu Dhabi welcomes more than 10 million visitors in 2018

More than 2.6 million people visited for the emirate’s cultural destinations, including Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr Al Hosn

Abu Dhabi received 10.27 million international visitors in 2018, according to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The number includes both overnight and day visitors, a statement said, without disclosing the break-down between the two.

Hotel guest numbers at the emirate’s 168 hotels or hotel apartments increased by 3.94 per cent compared to 2017, and by 13.62 per cent compared to 2016, the report said.

In 2017, 4.875 million tourists stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments.

Key markets such as India, the US and China posted double-digit growth for hotel guests last year, DCT Abu Dhabi said.

India and China remain the two top markets for overseas visitors, with the UK in third place as the top European source market.

In a statement, DCT Abu Dhabi said the emirate had “worked hard to reinforce its position as a destination with remarkable global appeal and as a place destined to become a key cultural city of the future”.

Among the cultural highlights for visitors have been the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened its doors in November 2017, and the recently reopened Qasr Al Hosn site. The annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix also continues to attract millions of visitors, having launched in 2009.

Other sectors that have brought people to the capital include business, family-focussed, and medical, with the cruise sector providing more than 350,000 visitors, according to DCT Abu Dhabi.

“The past three years have seen countless significant additions to Abu Dhabi’s structural, touristic and cultural landscape,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Most prominent amongst these include the recent reopening of the Al Hosn cultural site, which now offers visitors new experiences of heritage and artistic creativity, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“We have also courted cruise tourism with the opening of the new Mina Port and the Bani Yas Island beach cruise stopover. We have also just signed a memorandum of understanding with the Emirates Medical Association to tap into the booming sector of medical tourism.”

He added: “We’re also looking forward in 2019 to hosting the biggest humanitarian event in history when we welcome the Special Olympics to Abu Dhabi.

“We will continue to push for growth, and are working toward the introduction of further landmark initiatives and attractions in the coming years.”

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