Abu Dhabi hotels have hosted a total of 2.1 million guest nights in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 22.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

According to Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD), the number of hotel establishments’ guests increased by 6.1 percent over the first quarter of 2013, compared with Q1, 2012. Occupancy rate and the average length of stay also grew over the same period by 8 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively.

The number of guests grew to 631,400 in Q1, 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. The occupancy rate for the period under review was 73.5 percent, an increase of 8 percent year-on-year. The first quarter also saw guest nights grow by 22.8 percent to 2.12 million.

The average length of stay in hotel apartments was three nights longer than hotels. Similarly, the occupancy rate was higher for hotel apartments (82.5 percent) compared with hotels (70.8 percent).

The majority (84.2 percent) of guests in Q1, 2013 stayed in hotels in the Abu Dhabi area, compared with 11.8 percent in the Al Ain region and 4.0 percent in the Al Gharbia region. The average length of stay was 3.57 nights in Abu Dhabi, 2.03 nights in Al Ain and 2.84 nights in the Al Gharbia region.

The report data indicates an increase in guests for all nationalities in the first quarter of 2013, excluding the UAE and GCC nationals; the largest increase during the reference period was in the number of guests from non-Arab African countries, which advanced by 24.3 percent compared with Q1 2012, followed by guests from non-Arab Asian countries (19.0 percent). Meanwhile, the guest numbers from the UAE and other GCC countries decreased over the same period by 4.8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Detailed by hotel classification, guests of five-star hotels accounted for 36.8 percent of total in Q1 2013, followed by four-star hotels with 28.6 percent, three-star or less with 20.2 and guests in hotel apartments with 14.5 percent.

Guests from Europe preferred to stay in high-grade hotels as 49.4 percent stayed in five-star hotels, while 22.2 percent of guests from other Arab countries stayed in five-star hotels and 20.6 of them in hotels apartments.

As the report data indicates, the average length of stay increased for all nationalities in the first quarter of 2013 to 3.36 nights, an increase of 3.7 percent compared with Q1 2012. Guests from non-Arab African countries accounted for the highest increase (24.7 percent) in the average length of stay, followed by guests from Asia (excluding Arab countries) with 23.1 percent, and guests from within the UAE with 21.4 percent.

The highest average length of stay in the first quarter of 2013 was 5.44 nights recorded by guests from North and South America, followed by European guests with 4.64 nights. The lowest average length of stay was 2.25 nights, recorded by GCC guests, followed by guests from the UAE with 2.29 nights.

The occupancy rate (the number of guest nights divided by the number of available rooms over a given reference period) is a significant indicator for the performance of hotel establishments. The rate rose by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

The highest occupancy rate was reported in Abu Dhabi region (74.9 percent), followed by Al Ain (64.3 percent) and Al Gharbia (57.8 percent). Hotel apartments recorded an occupancy rates of 82.5 percent, compared with 70.8 for hotels.

According to SCAD’s study, the total revenues of hotel establishments advanced to AED 1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013, up 15.1 percent compared with the previous year.

(c)2013 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Tags: abu dhabi
Photo Credit: The gate at the Emirates Palace Hotel glows purple in Abu Dhabi. Ryan Lackey / Flickr