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Figures collated by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) have revealed that the number of international visitors coming to the UAE capital in 2019 is estimated to have reached 11.35 million. This number includes 2.83 million overnight and 8.53 million same-day visitors, and is an 10.5% increase over 2018.

The final figures include official international hotel guests, plus estimates for overnight visitors from overseas staying with friends or relatives and an estimate for the number of same-day international visitors.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s official 2019 hotel figures also reveal that Abu Dhabi’s 168 hotels and hotel apartments posted the highest number of guests – to date (5.1 million), with robust growth across key revenue metrics including Total Revenues, Average Room Rate (ARR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR).

The Hotel Guest numbers represented an increase of 2.1% over the previous year, whilst Hotel Occupancy was up 1.6% (to a rate of 73%), Average Length of Stay (ALOS) for 2019 was up 1.8% (to 2.6 nights) and Total Revenues were up an impressive 6.6% (to AED 5.8 billion). ARR metrics were up 4.7% and RevPAR also increased across the year by 6.4%.

India, China, the UK and the USA remained the top four non-UAE source markets for hotel guests, with Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and Bahrain the fastest growing markets between 2017 and 2019. The Indian market performed especially well, with an 8.2% increase over 2018 – with more than 450,000 hotel guests arriving – and the USA posting a 5.1% increase over the same time period.

The breakdown of figures between the different regions of the emirate show that hotels in Abu Dhabi performed well across every metric, posting positives for Guests (1.5%), Occupancy (1.3%), ALOS (2.8%), Revenues (7.3%), ARR (5.3%) and RevPAR (6.6%). Hotels in Al Ain, meanwhile, posted robust increases for Guest Numbers (9.8%) and Occupancy (2.3%), whilst establishments in Al Dhafra saw increases in Occupancy (3.6%), Revenues (5.0%), ARR (10.1%) and RevPAR (14.1%).

On Saadiyat Island, Hotel Guest numbers for 2019 saw an incredible 73.6% increase, with 165,436 total visitors for the year. Revenues jumped by an impressive 50.3% whilst Occupancy went up by 14.7%. ALOS for Saadiyat increased by 2.5%, to 4.2 nights whilst RevPAR went up by 5.7%.

Hotels in the ADNEC area posted an impressive increase in Revenue of 22.7% for 2019, whilst Guest Numbers increased by 9.4%, with a total of 305,257 guests arriving. Occupancy went up by 9.9% whilst ALOS increased by 1.6%. ARR went up by 10.4% and RevPAR increased by 21.3%.

“These 2019 results reflect the hard work and dedication that DCT Abu Dhabi, its tourism stakeholders and its partners have put into offering a ‘must-see, must-visit’ leisure and business destination to not only the international visitor but to domestic guests also,” said Saood Al Hosani, Acting Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi. “These outstanding results were underpinned by some world-class, exceptional events presented in the UAE capital across 2019, including the inaugural Abu Dhabi Showdown Week – which included the massively popular UFC 242 event – Abu Dhabi Family Week – which included the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards – and Summer In Abu Dhabi events as well as the Eid Al Adha celebrations. We also saw a fantastic edition of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art, ADIPEC 2019 and concerts from global superstars such as Eminem, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“These events helped elevate Abu Dhabi’s global standing and reputation and contributed massively to our guest metrics, resulting once more in a record breaking year in terms of visitation to the UAE capital.”