Capital growth: record Q1 arrivals revealed at ATM

Hotel guest arrivals from China up 48% and from Russia up 41% as Abu Dhabi sees 4% year-on-year increase

TCA Abu Dhabi booth at ATM 2017.
TCA Abu Dhabi booth at ATM 2017.

According to Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi has achieved a record 4% rise in the number of hotel guest arrivals over the first three months of the year in comparison to the same period in 2016.

The increase in hotel guest arrivals was driven by the growth in visitor numbers from China and Russia.

New visa-on-arrival regulations have seen Chinese hotel guest arrivals surge by 48%, and from Russia by 41%. China has now overtaken India as the largest overseas source market for international visitors into the emirate, with close to 100,000 Chinese visitors arriving in one of the emirate’s 172 hotels or hotel apartments between January and March.

The number of guest nights provided by Chinese visitors also increased by 48% to 138,747, while records of guest nights offered by Russian visitors throughout the emirate have seen an increase of 42% to 48,207, figures released by TCA Abu Dhabi demonstrate.

TCA Abu Dhabi director general HE Saif Saeed Ghobash said: “Following a record year for the number of guest arrivals into the emirate in 2016, we welcome this increase as we continue to pursue our target of attracting 4.9 million visitors by the end of 2017. The emirate's unique appeal to our key overseas target markets has contributed to establishing it as a distinctive global destination built on unique experiences and a rich cultural heritage.”

“We are particularly pleased to see the immediate benefits of the relaxed visa requirements across the Chinese and Russian tourism markets, with nationals from both countries now being granted visas upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This represents another strong encouragement for them to visit Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Along with India, the UK, Germany, US and GCC, China has been identified as a key inbound tourism market for Abu Dhabi that has significant future growth potential. Last year witnessed a 31% increase over 2015 in the number of Chinese guest arrivals, reaching a figure of 231,000. TCA Abu Dhabi is aiming to welcome 600,000 Chinese visitors by 2021.

Guest arrivals from the GCC counties of Kuwait and Qatar also showed double digit growth – 31% and 12% respectively while Saudi Arabia remains the emirate’s fourth largest overseas source market.

“These exceptional results illustrate the emirate’s growing international appeal, as well as our ongoing successes in positioning Abu Dhabi as a distinctive destination offering unlimited opportunities for cultural experiences, family leisure and MICE events,” added Ghobash.


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