(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, or TCA Abu Dhabi, show last month's arrivals at the emirate's 149 hotels and hotel apartments rose 26 per cent year-on-year with some 260,810 guests checking in and delivering 856,785 hotel nights - a 27 per cent uplift on November 2012.
Occupancy levels for the month reached 83 per cent and total revenue lunged 19 per cent upwards to Dh669 million.
"This is great news which we were cautiously optimistic about given November was packed with events including the headline Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the FIFA Under17 World Cup and Abu Dhabi Art," said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director-general, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Equally upbeat was Dominique Hebert, general manager of Centro Capital Centre Hotel. He said his property had strong sales in November and October this year despite the increase in the number of hotel rooms in the capital, which is a challenge.
"Almost every month a new hotel opens with a minimum of 250 rooms and this makes the competition among properties more fierce and at the same time affects the overall average room rate in the city, for everyone is trying to attract the visitors with better packages and offers," he said.
Al Darmaki said, "It's all the more gratifying given that since last year the emirate has seen 12 more properties and almost 2,500 new rooms come on line. "Length of stay - which is now touching 3.3 nights - continues its upward trend which suggests people are increasingly convinced of there being ever more to do and see here."
November's performance means that in the first nine months of this year, some 2.5 million guests have stayed in Abu Dhabi's accommodation - which is a rise of 17 per cent on the same period last year.
Year-to-date, guest nights jumped 26 per cent to over 7.9 million and average-length-of-stay has edged up eight per cent to 3.14 nights. Occupancy rate for the year to date is 70 per cent - up nine per cent on 2012. Total hotel revenues for the year to date is close to Dh5 billion - up 11 per cent on 2012, with F&B income representing close to Dh1.9 billion, which has climbed 19 per cent. Average room rate is now running at Dh477.22 - which is a slight dip of one per cent on the year.
Domestic tourism is on an upward curve - jumping six per cent in terms of guest arrivals to 865,966.
"This is heading in the right direction. More people from within the UAE are choosing to stay in Abu Dhabi and for longer!" said Al Darmaki. "There's a ways to go but with more events and more product coming to market soon, we've a change to build this further."
India remains the top overseas source market for 2013 with 157,594 Indians checking into Abu Dhabi's accommodation this year - a 26 per cent year-on-year.
"As we enter December and look forward to significant returns from the festive and international holiday season, we can begin the New Year with a sense of satisfaction from targets achieved," said Al Darmaki.