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Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy gathers momentum.

The strong starts to the year for hotels in Abu Dhabi in terms of the number of guest and occupancy continued into May, although authorities remain concerned about the average length of stay and the average room rates.

In the first five months of the year, occupancy levels hit 78%, up 8% on the same period in 2013, according to figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

Meanwhile, 1,435,932 guests stayed in the emirate s accommodation between January and May, up 30% year-on-year, with guest nights up 22% to 4,375,395.

Hotel revenues rose 14% to AED2.7 billion (US $728.6 million) with food and beverage income climbing 12% to just over AED1 billion (US $277.6 million).

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"Overall, the performance makes for good reading, though there are two areas of concern the average-length-of-stay and the average room rate, both of which have dipped from 2013," said TCA Abu Dhabi deputy director-general Jasem Al Darmaki.

The average-length-of-stay slipped by 6% to just over three nights while the average room rate was down 4% to AED448 (US $122).

The first five months saw 30% growth in domestic guests coming into Abu Dhabi while internationally India is now the top performing market for the emirate, with 89,761 visitors checking into its hotels, up 38% year-on-year. They delivered a 20% uplift in guest nights to 340,981 with an average length of stay of 3.8 nights.

While the UK and Germany were the next most productive markets, the biggest shift came from China, with a 204% jump in the number of visitors to 52,392. They delivered 94,806 guest nights, which was up 180% and stayed, on average, 1.81 nights.

Russians remained Abu Dhabi s longest stayers, averaging 6.22 nights each in the emirate.

"There is increased and enhanced product now coming into the market to give people more compelling reasons both to visit and to stay longer," said Darmaki.

"And the average room rate now represents exceptional consumer value. We will be pushing these messages out vigorously through all our marketing and communications channels across our entire local, regional international trade and media networks."

"We are poised to achieve our 2014 guest arrivals target of 3.2 million and anticipate increased business from Australia and Italy with Etihad Airways planned launch, this July, of new routes from Perth and Rome."

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Publication:Hotelier Middle East
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jul 1, 2014
Words:417
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