Abu Dhabi’s hotel sector turns in record five month performance

ABU DHABI: The number of hotel guests checking into Abu Dhabi s 155 hotels and hotel apartments reached a five months high from January to May this year, with occupancy touching 78% – an 8% uplift on the same period in 2013.

Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, show that in the first five months of this year 1,435,932 guests stayed in the emirate s accommodation a 30% increase on January to May 2013. The January-May guest tally translated into 4,375,395 guest nights which was up 22% year-on-year.

Hotel revenues rose 14% to AED2,675 billion (US $728.6 million) with food and beverage income climbing 12% to just over AED1 billion (US $277.6 million).

“Overall, the performance makes for good reading, though there are two areas of concern the average-length-of-stay and the average room rate, both of which have dipped from 2013,” explained Jasem Al Darmaki, Deputy Director-General, TCA Abu Dhabi.

The average-length-of-stay slipped by 6% to just over three nights while the average room rate slid 4% to AED448 (US $122).

“There is increased and enhanced product now coming into the market to give people more compelling reasons both to visit and to stay longer,” explained Darmaki, “And the average room rate now represents exceptional consumer value. We will be pushing these messages out vigorously through all our marketing and communications channels across our entire local, regional international trade and media networks.” The first five months have seen 30% growth in domestic guests coming into Abu Dhabi while internationally India is now the top performing market for the emirate.

From January-May, 89,761 Indian visitors checked into Abu Dhabi hotels, which was up 38% year-on-year. They delivered a 20% uplift in guest nights to 340,981 with an average length of stay of 3.8 nights.

The U.K. is the emirate s second most productive market, with 85,956 Britons staying in Abu Dhabi a 28% rise on 2013. British guests accounted for 369,781 guest nights, which was up 18% and stayed, on average, 4.30 nights.

Germany came in third in terms of international delivery with 59,821 Germans checking in, which nudged up 7%. They delivered 284,839 guest nights which was an 8% increase, and they stayed, on average, 4.76 nights.

In percentage terms, China, which is now the emirate s fourth most productive overseas source market, delivered the biggest increases. Some 52,392 Chinese visitors stayed in Abu Dhabi from January May, which was a jump of 204%. They delivered 94,806 guest nights, which was up 180% and stayed, on average, 1.81 nights.

Russians remain Abu Dhabi s longest stayers, averaging 6.22 nights each in the emirate.

“We are poised to achieve our 2014 guest arrivals target of 3.2 million and anticipate increased business from Australia and Italy with Etihad Airways planned launch, this July, of new routes from Perth and Rome,” added Al Darmaki.