Increased summer visitor numbers show Abu Dhabi is hot stuff for tourists

China, India and the UK top a list of record visitor numbers for June.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. July 23, 2016///

Tourists take photos in front of Emirates Palace. Standalone. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National 

ID: 35983
Section: National 
 *** Local Caption ***  160723-MM-Standalone-001.JPG
Powered by automated translation

It might have been the start of the hottest season of the year, but new figures show a dramatic increase for tourism in Abu Dhabi this June.

According to tourism officials, the number of hotel guests shot up by 30 per cent compared to 2016.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) says that the first six months of 2017 saw more than 2.25 million guests stay in the emirate.

Some of the increase can be attributed to Eid Al Fitr, a popular time for travelling and which fell at the end of the month.

But the figures were also boosted by visitors from China, one of the fastest growing areas for UAE tourism.

TCA Abu Dhabi has heavily promoted the emirate as a destination for Chinese tourists and has been rewarded with a 78.5 per cent month on month increase and rise of 55 per cent year on year, representing 185,000 guests.

China was one of what TCA regards as six key markets to show an increase, with visitors from Saudi Arabia also doubling in June.

Saif Ghobash, the Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said the figures showed “We are on track to achieve our forecast guest arrivals growth for the year, and we are well placed to maximise these opportunities as we head into the second half of 2017.

“Abu Dhabi Summer Season is also now well underway and we expect the remaining series of theatre, music and entertainment shows along with significant promotions in our retail and hospitality sectors to have a positive effect on demand well into August.”

With Chinese tourists taking the top sport, visitors from India and the United Kingdom took second and third place. There was also encouraging news from the USA, with American visitors showing double digit growth after what TCA calls “a period of stability.”

Granting Chinese visitors visas on arrival is being credited with making the UAE a more attractive holiday destination. The visa rules were relaxed last year for both Chinese and Russian visitors.

Abu Dhabi’s latest guest numbers come just a few days after Dubai revealed it had received a record number of visitors for 2017, with numbers rising by over 10 per cent year on year.

Hotel occupancy in Dubai has also increased, and now stands at 79 per cent. Dubai has set a target of 20 million visitors by 2020, which would put it on a par with London and Paris, based on the latest Global Destination Cities Index, and higher than New York and Tokyo.