Abu Dhabi 'on track' to hit 2012 tourism target

Up to 1.55m people stayed in emirate during first 8 months of year


Abu Dhabi remains right on track to attain its 2012 hotel guest target of 2.3 million, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority on Saturday.

It said guest arrivals had risen by 15 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2011.

From January to the end of August, 1,551,888 people stayed in Abu Dhabi's 130 hotels and hotel apartments accounting for 4,393,820 guest nights, a rise of 10 percent.

The figures also showed a three percent uplift in total hotel revenues to AED2.8bn ($770m).

"We are well placed to again achieve our annual target as we have a series of major events to come including EidFest Abu Dhabi, the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

"December will also see the launch of the destination's next major power draw - the Yas Waterworld Aqua Park - which is already attracting worldwide attention and promises to deliver a significant year-end boost for Abu Dhabi."

He said Abu Dhabi benefited from its best August performance to date with a 58 percent increase in guest arrivals when compared to the same month last year, a 27 percent climb in guest nights to 519,610.

August also saw a four percent uplift in occupancy levels to 55 percent and a 19 percent rise in total hotel revenue to AED255 - a result TCA Abu Dhabi attributes to the Eid Al Fitr holiday which fell at the end of the month.

For January-August, the UK remained Abu Dhabi's most productive hotel guest market with some 88,567 Brits staying in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments although the figure is one percent down on 2011.

India continues to perform well, now ranking as the emirate's second most productive overseas market with 87,106 Indians staying - a 31 percent increase on 2011. In third place was Germany which saw a 44 percent increase in Abu Dhabi's hotel guest profile translating to 59,561 arrivals and 267,983 guest nights.

Increased room stock availability - the emirate now has 22,193 hotel rooms, compared to 18,600 this time last year - has led to a slip in occupancy levels of 63 percent, officials said.

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