The last year has rounded off well for Abu Dhabi hotels.
Recent statistics released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that guest arrivals in 2014 totalled 3,494,063 – a year-on-year rise of 25%.
Guest nights for the year also climbed 19% over a 2013 comparison to reach 10,463,137, prompting the Authority to consider new targets.
“The industry has performed extremely well, surpassing our 3.1 million guest target and with significant growth being recorded in occupancy and revenues,” said HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Total hotel revenues rose 14% to AED 6.28 bn (US$1,712 bn) with room revenue accounting for AED 3.26 bn (US$889 m), which was up 15% on 2013 while food and beverage income climbed 11% to AED2.33 bn (US$637 m).
“Despite these encouraging results there remains room for improvement, notably a dip in length of guest stay and a slight slip in average room rate, which we are actively addressing with the industry,” said HE Jasem Al Darmaki, acting director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Hotel occupancy for the year came in at 75%, which is up six percent on the comparative period.
“This is a very positive development when viewed against the background of a seven percent rise in available hotel room year-on-year,” added Al Darmaki. Abu Dhabi now has 160 hotels and hotel apartments as compared to 150 last year and currently boasts 28,374 rooms as opposed to 26,001 for the comparative period.
The current average-length-of-stay fell by four percent from 3.13 to 2.99 nights and the prevailing average room rate is AED 442 (US$120).
Domestic tourism continues to perform well for Abu Dhabi, with hotel guest numbers from within the UAE exceeding a million for the first time, accounting for almost a third of all arrivals – an increase of 20% on 2013. India remains Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market for hotel guests, posting a 32% increase and eclipsing its stellar 2013 performance figures to reach 231,702 guests, delivering 850,443 guest nights – which was up 23%.
Europe’s primary source markets also posted significant double-digit growth in guest arrivals. The UK was the second largest overseas producer with 203,788 Britons checking into the emirate’s hotels last year – a 25% lift on 2013. British arrivals accounted for 877,162 guest nights – 15% more than 2013 with an average length of stay of 4.3 nights, down by eight percent from the 4.68 night peak of the previous year.
Germany held its position as the third largest overseas source market with 138,604 hotel guests – a 16% uplift on 2013. Germans delivered 631,179 guest nights, which was up 8% on the previous year. The United States surged from seventh to fourth most productive market on the back of a 37% increase, delivering 123,196 hotel guests, with one of the longest staying averages at 4.94 nights, narrowly missing out to Russia which posted a table-topping average length of stay of 5.3 nights.
Regionally, arrivals from the GCC rose by 25%, with Saudi Arabia Abu Dhabi’s top performer. Arrivals from the Kingdom rose 32% year-on-year. Internationally, China delivered the highest percentage growth – of 166% in arrivals and 145% in guest nights.