Abu Dhabi on course to achieve annual tourism target

The 156 hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate recorded a 26% year-on-year increase in the number of guests during first nine months of 2014.

The Royal Rose Hotel, Abu Dhabi. Its exterior hints to a 17th century French palace. Its interior is equally opulent, with walls overlaid in intricate gold-leaf designs. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi is set to achieve its annual tourism target as hotels and hotel apartments reported strong growth in guest arrivals and revenues during the first nine months.

The 156 hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate recorded a 26 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of guests to 2.49 million during the period, compared to its annual target of 3.1 million, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

The emirate added eight hotels since the end of September last year, accounting for more than 2,000 rooms.

Among the new entrants:

• The French hotel operator Accor opened the four-star Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan with 361 rooms in March and the Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan with 279 apartments in July.

• Abu Dhabi’s Bin Ham group opened the five-star Royal Rose Hotel with 355 rooms in March.

• Dubai-based Time Hotels Management opened Zakher Time Residence with 68 one-bedroom and studio apartments in October.

Overall, the emirate had 7,348 rooms in various stages of planning and construction at the end of September, with more than 5,000 of these in the luxury and upper upscale segments, according to the consultancy STR Global. Abu Dhabi had 22,093 rooms at the end of September, more than 10,000 of which are in the same high-end categories.

The guests stayed an average of three nights in the emirate, and occupancy levels rose 7 per cent to 73 per cent.

Competitive room rates compared to Dubai have also helped to sell Abu Dhabi’s hotel rooms.

In September, the average room rate in Abu Dhabi reached $128.96, an increase of 4.2 per cent, compared to $231.36 in Dubai, according to TRI Consulting’s monthly HotStats report. Dubai room rates decreased 3.2 per cent over last September.

During the first three quarters of this year, revenues for Abu Dhabi hotels touched Dh4.268 billion, a 15 per cent growth year-on-year.

Of this, Dh2.17bn, a 16 per cent rise, came from room sales and Dh1.62bn from food and beverage income, which rose 12 per cent.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter