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Abu Dhabi islands to be big tourism draw for 2014

Profile Photo By: H L
January 2, 2014

Abu Dhabi islands to be big tourism draw for 2014

Abu Dhabi Photo: M. Hermsdorf  / pixelio.deAbu Dhabi has hit its?tourism?target for 2013 a month early, driven by growing awareness of the destination among global travellers.

The capital?s 149 hotels and hotel apartments took in 2.53 million guests in the first 11 months, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) ? a jump of 17 per cent on the same period last year. The hotels and hotel apartments sector reported a 3.14-night average length of stay, up 8 per cent.

During the year, 12 properties with almost 2,500 new rooms came on stream.

?There is more awareness about the destination now. And we didn?t focus on Abu Dhabi city alone but also on Western Region, which is close to the Gulf countries and the coastline, and Al Ain, which is a cultural destination,? said Mohammed Al Dhaheri the director of strategy and policy of TCA Abu Dhabi. ?A forecast is difficult [on tourist numbers and hotel room rates] but we try to maintain a healthy balance.?

Next year, the agency plans to promote experiences from the cultural aspects of Saadiyat Island to the appeal of beaches and the attractions of Yas Island.

?The Abu Dhabi Government has made huge investments on infrastructure and it is time to showcase these,? Mr Al Dhaheri said.

Occupancy rate year to date is 70 per cent, up 9 per cent on 2012, and that generated Dh5 billion, up 11 per cent, in hotel revenues. Of this, food and beverage income contributed Dh1.9bn, a rise of 19 per cent.

The average room rate is running at Dh477.22, a slight decline of 1 per cent on the year.

The emirates has also caught on with the domestic travellers, with 865,966 guests travelling from within the UAE borders. That represents a rise of about 6 per cent over the year.

The Abu Dhabi properties last month reported a 26 per cent rise in the number of guests year on year as 260,810 guests checked in. November occupancy levels rose to 83 per cent and total revenues surged 19 per cent from the year-earlier month to Dh669 million.

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Source The National, http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/tourism/abu-dhabi-islands-to-be-big-tourism-draw-for-2014

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