Abu Dhabi welcomed a record 4.87 million people to its 162 hotels during 2017, representing a 9.8 per cent year-on-year rise.
Figures released by the Department of Culture and tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) for its hospitality sector show that the number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi city during the year went up by 10.3 per cent to reach almost 4.3m staying in the 26,821 rooms of its 131 hotels and hotel apartments.
Guests in the Al Ain region increased 5.5 per cent to 450,328 in its 20 hotels, while guests in the Al Dhafra Region rose 8.2 per cent to 130,180 people in its 11 hotels and hotel apartments.
Director general of DCT, Saif Saeed Ghobash, said: “A record numbers of people are visiting Abu Dhabi year after year and we continue to go from strength to strength in positioning ourselves as a distinctive global tourist destination steeped in culture and heritage. A near double digit year-on-year growth in the number of guests staying in all three regions of the emirate is testament to our drive and determination in helping the emirate evolve into a ‘must-visit’ place on any traveller’s itinerary.
“Abu Dhabi’s unique cultural archetypes, combined with diverse natural landscapes, cultural and historic sites, dynamic family-leisure entertainment and ambitious business opportunities, will continue to stimulate visitation and help us grow by 11 per cent per annum to achieve 8.5 million visitors by 2021. However, we more than ever, are aware of the challenges we face in supporting key metrics such as length of stay and occupancy rates for the emirate’s hotels and are working hard to continue to focus on these measures.”
Guests from China surging year-on-year by 60 per cent to number more than 372,000 people, making it Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market. The numbers swelled by the easing of visa restrictions and Chinese visitors now receiving visas on entry in the UAE.
India is the second largest international source market with more than 360,000 guests recorded during the 12 months, an increase of 11 per cent. The United Kingdom remains the largest European source market, registering a 13 per cent rise to more than 270,000 while the United States’ market also showed a considerable rise of more than 23 per cent.
Domestic tourism from within the UAE increased 2.6 per cent to slightly more than 1.5 million hotel guests.