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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 02/01/2014

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The last quarter of the past year brought with it a busy season in Abu Dhabi's hotels, which surged profit margins even though competition is getting intense.

"We are extremely optimistic and looking at the comparison figures between 2012 and 2013 we saw a huge increase in revenue," said Dominique Hebert, general manager of Centro Capital Centre Hotel.

According to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority figures, hotel occupancy rose 10 per cent to 83 per cent in November. The general manager said that not only was the month of November profitable, but also October. He said the Eid Al Adha holidays and the summer period was very busy though it is always considered a low season. "Overall the year was full of events which kept the demand going and this certainly lifted the profit margins," he said.

Hebert said: "November was one of the busiest months during the whole year. This was mainly due to the many events that took place throughout this month. The month kicked off with Formula One which year by year gets better and attracts more spectators, which increases the demand and this is reflected by the high average room rates witnessed among all hotels in the city."

There were also concerts that took place at Yas Island during F1 and after, which were extremely successful and attracted visitors from all over the world, the general manager said. Moving away from Yas Island, Adipec also took place during this month at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, he said.

Adipec was another major event that brought the hotels outstanding results by the huge demand that came with it. The event has grown into an international exhibition with the number of visitors doubling this year, which had a direct effect on the demand for hotel rooms in the fourth quarter of the year.

Additionally, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival played an important role in bringing in more visitors to the city, and finally the Fifa under 17 World Cup attracted more than 50,000 guests during its first week. All these events resulted in an outstanding November in terms of both demand and average room rates and most importantly have seen tourists coming in from different destinations and for different purposes.

Whether for business, pleasure, sports or even art, Abu Dhabi managed to attract all, he said. Asked about the major challenges facing the hotel industry, Hebert said the increase in the number of hotel rooms was 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 overage room rate in the city, for everyone is trying to attract visitors with better packages and offers."


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