2013 was an excellent year for tourism in Abu Dhabi, with more than 2.8 million tourists that visited the emirate throughout the year. These numbers exceeded the expectations of a maximum 2.5 million, according to Salik Manjrio, Sales and Marketing Director of a leading resort in Abu Dhabi.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is becoming increasingly popular among business travelers and leisure tourists. Last year’s record of over 2.8 million tourists will be probably surpassed by around 15 percent in 2014, says Salik Manjrio, Sales and Marketing Director of Park Hayatt Hotel and Resort Abu Dhabi in Saadiyat Island, who also adds the growth will be seen particularly in business and conference tourism. In fact, the emirate is already a major MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) travel destination and now with the introduction of large projects like the Waterworld and Ferrari World, the city is adding even more attractions to its tourist map.
Saadiyat Island has also turned into a popular tourist spot thanks to its wonderful location, hotel infrastructure and beautiful beaches, attracting more local and international visitors each year. Saadiyat-based Hayatt Park itself, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Hotels Co, is among its most visited resorts, preferred mostly for its proximity to the town centre, luxury accommodations and five-starred services, as well as the number of relaxation and recreation options. With its 306 rooms, suites and villas, the hotel offers varied accommodations and entertainment for individuals and families, as well. Salik Manjrio also expects an average growth of 15 percent of conferences and meetings at Hayatt Park during 2014, as well as a relatively high occupancy rate of at least 75 percent.
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have posted record numbers of tourists in 2013, according to the latest report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, issued in January. The UAE was also chosen as one of the top ten fastest growing tourism destinations for the previous year. Dubai reported an increase of the total revenues for the first nine months of the year by 17.1 percent, reaching AED 15.33 billion. The number of Dubai visitors also went up – compared to the same period in 2012, it increased by 9.8 percent, reaching almost 8 million people. Occupancy rates in 2013 were extremely high – more than 80 percent during the high season, and they are expected to remain elevated in 2014, according to Peter Goddard, managing Director of TRI Hospitality Consulting.