Abu Dhabi aims for 15% increase in hotel guests in 2011

ABU DHABI The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is targeting an increase of 15% in the number of hotel guests in the emirate in 2011, aiming for 1.9 million guests across 22,000 guestrooms.

If the goal is met, Abu Dhabi tourism would account for about 11.1% of the emirate’s non-oil GDP, an increase of 0.4% as the emirate attempts to move its economy away from dependence on fossil fuel production.

Abu Dhabi’s hotel guest arrivals are up 16% this year compared to 2009, reports.

“Abu Dhabi’s tourism ambitions are now six years old, and I am pleased to report that the youngster is growing stronger by the day,” says Mubarak Al Muhairi, the director general of ADTA. “We are on course to achieving our aspirations but cannot go forward without solid stakeholder support. Through our Horizons Abu Dhabi product development incentive scheme we can ‘inspire for tomorrow’ and much can be achieved together.”

Abu Dhabi is hoping to shift its current business tourism-dominated hotel guest profile to a more balanced business and leisure split. “We are confident we can achieve this because our leisure proposition has, and will, continue to grow,” Al Muhairi says. To that end, ADTA has recently opened sales offices in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

“We are looking for a wider geographic footprint, diversifying to complement our traditional Euro-centric markets with emerging source markets, in line with evolving industry dynamics,” he says.