The figures were revealed in Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) which revealed a 12% year-on-year rise in guest nights to 6,996,724. Hotel revenues for the period were also up – this time by 6% – to AED4.6bn (US$1.261bn).
“This positive performance gives us an excellent platform on which to now build for our 2013 target of 2.5 million guests,” said HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Growth was recorded across all key markets with strongest coming from Africa, GCC, Middle East and Asia,” added Al Nahyan.
During 2012 there was strong growth in the number of guests coming from Africa – which was up by a third on 2011 and was primarily influenced by arrivals from Seychelles and also from South Africa. Improved GCC arrivals was mainly influenced by an upturn in guest numbers from Saudi Arabia, which rose 16% year-on-year, from Oman, which turned in a 29% increase and Qatar which delivered 24% more guests.
Greater uptake from China, the Philippines and India largely accounted for enhanced performance from Asia, which rose 28% year-on-year. Domestic tourism remained buoyant throughout the year accounting for some 888,241 guests – an 8% rise on 2011.
Guests from the US and Canada are proving to be Abu Dhabi’s longest stayers with an average stay of 5.47 and 5.58 nights respectively.