The tourism and hotel industry continue to prosper in the UAE capital.
According to Gulf News, the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said the total hotel revenues for the emirate during the first quarter of 2019 have increased by more than 16 per cent compared to the same period last year. The Emirate have attracted more than 1.29 million hotel guests in three months. “In total, 1,291,482 visitors were guests of Abu Dhabi’s 169 hotels and hotel apartments.” The hotel apartments in Q1 saw an increase of about 6,600 over the same period in 2018, DCT Abu Dhabi said.
“[More Q1 figures] marked increases for visitors from the USA, with a 13.8 per cent rise for the first quarter. Average length of stays for visitors from the UK, China, India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also saw an increase. There was also a 51 per cent rise in visitors coming to Abu Dhabi for leisure purposes compared to last year during the first quarter.”
Why so many hotel guests or visitors to the UAE capital? Well, the Emirate has much to offer in terms of art, hospitality and nature. Louvre Abu Dhabi, an art and civilization museum in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, for example, is a top cultural destination; then there’s the Qasr al-Hosn, the oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi and one of the most significant heritage site. Also, in addition to the first universal museum in the Arab World and of the popular Qasr Al Hosn heritage that was recently restored, there’s also the popular Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, an indoor amusement theme park situated on Yas Island; inside you’ll find six lands featuring 29 rides, plus many cartoon characters. Then there’s Ferrari World Abu Dhabi which has 37 record-breaking rides and attractions for all age groups. This is an ideal place for kids as well as adults.
Emirates Palace, a luxury hotel West Corniche Road, is one of the most expensive lodges in the world—costs vary from 5900 dollars to 12500 dollars approximately, but tourists can tour the beautiful atrium lobby free! (Note: Only formal dressing is allowed in the hotel. No shorts and dresses which expose the body is allowed inside.) This is a top attraction for its scale and grandeur. The multi-domed luxury hotel sits on the beachfront in palm-sprinkled gardens which makes a lavish retreat for guests and a must-see for Abu Dhabi visitors.
Vacationers also like to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the country, which is also free to enter and does not need tickets. You can join a number of free tours each day on a walk-in basis. (Note: General visiting times are Saturday-Thursday 9am to 10pm. The mosque is closed to tourists (but open to worshippers) on Friday mornings. It reopens for tourists after 4.30pm. Note that during the month of Ramadan visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the mosque closed all day Friday.)
Abu Dhabi has spurred interest from around the world to visit many of the Emirate’s cultural sites, landmarks, and/or theme-based establishments. The Emirate’s tourism sector is attracting more and more international visitors, also supported by the loosening of entry visa requirements and wide-ranging cuts to taxes imposed on the hospitality sector. This has gone on to help enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as a global tourist destination, said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi. “We are incredibly pleased to see these positive metrics, as year on year we have exceeded the already ambitious targets set for Abu Dhabi’s growth,” spoke Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi.