Abu Dhabi races past visitor target

The 2013 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit

The 2013 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit

Abu Dhabi continues to record fantastic visitor numbers, with more than 2.5 million guests checking into its 149 hotels and hotel apartments in the first 11 months of 2013.

According to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the emirate saw 260,810 guest arrivals in November 2013, a 27 per cent growth on 2012’s performance. The outstanding results meant Abu Dhabi’s hospitality industry hit the emirate’s 2013 hotel guest target a month early.

The UK remains Abu Dhabi’s second largest overseas market with 147,852 Britons checking into the emirate’s hotels in the first 11 months of 2013, a 14 per cent increase on 2012. British guests accounted for 690,902 guest nights – an increase of 24 per cent year on year – with an average length of stay of 4.67 nights, again up eight per cent on 2012.

More and more to do

HE Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “This is great news which we were cautiously optimistic about as November was packed with events including the headline Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the FIFA Under 17 World Cup and Abu Dhabi Art.

“It’s all the more gratifying given that since last year the emirate has seen 12 more properties and almost 2,500 new rooms come on line. Length of stay continues its upward trend, which suggests people are increasingly convinced of there being ever more to do and see in Abu Dhabi.”

November’s performance means that in the first 11 months of 2013, 2,530,810 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi accommodation, an increase of 17 per cent on the same period in 2012.

Occupancy rate for the first 11 months of 2013 was 70 per cent, an increase of nine per cent on 2012. Total hotel revenues for the same 11 months was close to £854 million, up 11 per cent on 2012, with food and beverage income representing close to £316 million – an increase of 19 per cent.

In addition, visitor numbers for early 2014 are set to get a boost from Mickey Mouse, the star of an all-new stage show taking place at Yas Island from 26 February to 2 March.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, stars a range of popular characters including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, who will be performing in a music mash-up at the du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

The show featuring an all-star line-up of more than 25 Disney characters, and includes acrobatics, flying carpets, magical transformations with Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie and underwater action with Ariel, Sebastian and their nautical pals.

Produced by Feld Entertainment and brought to Yas Island by the UAE’s Sport & Entertainment Solutions (SES) and presenting partner TCA Abu Dhabi, the unique family concert experience is likely to be one of the most memorable events to hit the UAE capital in 2014.