Abu Dhabi’s hospitality sector witnessed solid growth during the first quarter with the hotel revenues surging by more than 16 percent over the same period in 2018 even as it welcomed more than 1.29 million guests into the UAE capital.
Events such as the AFC Asian Cup, Idex exhibition, Special Olympics World Games, and the Retail Abu Dhabi shopping festival, alongside the popularity of in-demand new attractions including Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the Al Hosn cultural site and Qasr Al Watan Library all provided a significant boost to the emirate’s appeal as a tourism destination for the first three months of the year, stated the latest figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
The first quarter results reveal a 16.1 percent jump in total revenues, mainly driven by a boost in average room revenue (ARR) which rose by almost 15 percent coupled with an occupancy rate of 79 percent.
The hotels saw room revenue increased by 24.5 percent, while F&B (food and beverages) revenues increased by 10.4 percent.
In total, 1.29 million visitors enjoyed the hospitality of Abu Dhabi’s 169 hotels and hotel apartments during the first three months, a modest increase of about 6,600 over the same period in 2018, said the tourism department figures.
For the first three months of the year, the figures also show Abu Dhabi has enjoyed a 2.1 percent increase in the average length of stay of all guests, it added.
Commenting on the results, Saif Saeed Ghobash, DCT Abu Dhabi Under-Secretary, said: “These numbers confirm our strong start to 2019 and that our efforts and strategic planning are proving successful. The Q1 figures were without doubt boosted by visitors inspired by all Abu Dhabi offered in the first three months of the year.”
“We will continue to focus on our key markets in the second quarter of this year, promoting more world-class events. Abu Dhabi International Book Fair saw an increase of 18 percent in visitor figures, attracting experts, authors and book fans from across the world. We are confident that we will build on our strong start to the year, and we look forward to seeing our metrics in positive territory as we head towards summer,” stated Ghobash.
For hotel guests, there were marked increases for visitors from the US, with a 13.8 percent rise for Q1, said the top official.
“Average length of stays for visitors from the UK, China, India, and Saudi Arabia also saw increases. The first quarter also witnessed a 51 percent rise in visitors coming to Abu Dhabi for leisure purposes compared to last year,” noted Ghobash.
On the Al Ain region, the official said it had recorded impressive hotel guest figures for Q1, with 132,751 guests representing a 19.8 percent rise over last year.
All three regions of the emirate also recorded a comparative increase in occupancy rates for Q1, with Abu Dhabi up 0.5 percent, Al Ain region up 11.5 percent and Al Dhafra region up 1.1 percent.
The appeal of the emirate was boosted by recent additions to Abu Dhabi’s hotel portfolio, with a number of major properties including the Abu Dhabi Edition, which is the first edition brand hotel in the Mena region, alongside the Jumeirah Saadiyat, Saadiyat Rotana and Jumeirah Al Wathba properties which all opened in recent months, said Ghobash.
The second quarter of the year is a reliable period for attracting tourists, with marquee events such as the Al Dhafra Water Festival, the Jiu Jitsu Championship and Eid Festival all taking place, he added.
TradeArabia News Service