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The hospitality industry in Abu Dhabi is bracing itself for a busy time as new hotels open their doors, trying to keep pace with the increase in the number of tourists.
Enthused by the initial trends during the early months of the year, tourism authorities have revised their targets of hotel guests checking in to the various hotels in the capital from 3.5 million to 3.9 million this year.
To cater to the rising number of visitors, the number of hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi is expected to jump from the current 20,700 to around 26,000 by 2017. Industry predictions suggest 2,300 new keys will enter the market by the end of this year.
One of the most significant reasons for the uptick in the number of visitors is the rapid growth of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, where the hub of the country’s national airline is located.
The number of visitors passing through the airport has jumped by 17 per cent during the first half of 2015 compared to the first six months of 2014. Even the number of aircraft movements through the airport has surged by 15 per cent between H1 2014 and H1 2015.
Increased connectivity by air routes has helped in popularising the tourist attractions in the capital. Abu Dhabi has been hosting major global sporting events and it is also emerging as a popular MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination.
Despite the addition of new hotel keys, there has been no fall in the occupancy rates in the hotels, hinting at rising demand. Jones Lang LaSalle’s recent study on the hotel occupancy rates for the first five months of the year suggests it has remained at 77 per cent, the same level as in 2014.
• Abu Dhabi has witnessed significant increase in visitor numbers
• Tourism authorities revised the hotel guest target to 3.9 million
• Hotel keys in the capital to jump from 20,700 to 26,000 in 2017
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer