Abu Dhabi sizzles
I have read a slew of articles recently on how Abu Dhabi – the UAE’s richest emirate – is about to emerge as a world class centre for the arts, culture and sport. The Abu Dhabi Festival kicks off next week (March 11) and will see Simon Russell Beale perform at the Royal Opera House while Michelin starred chef, Gary Rhodes, is set to open Rhodes 44 at the St Regis Abu Dhabi.
But it seems that the sensible desert kingdom (Abu Dhabi didn’t bat an eyelid when forced to bail out its bling-tastic brother, Dubai, to the tune of £6.3 billion a few years back) is already doing something right.
Word has reached CD-Traveller towers that the number of guests staying in the emirate’s 127 hotels, hotel apartments and resorts rose by 29 per cent in January 2012 compared to the same month the previous year, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
During January some 198,139 guests stayed in the emirate, with the number of guest nights also rising, this time by 20 per cent to 571,672. The UK produced a 15 per cent increase to 13,005 guests.
Revenue for Abu Dhabi’s hotels rose to £70 million (AED408 million) in January 2012, an increase of 11 per cent on January 2011. Food and beverage revenue rose 18 per cent during the same period to £26.6 million (AED155.3 million). Hotel occupancy stabilized at 66 per cent – the same rate as January 2010.
Fancy following in the footsteps of the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, Dannii Minogue and Ronaldo – all of whom have been spotted in the UAE’s capital (and richest and biggest emirate)? Check out our article on what to see and do in Abu Dhabi.