According to a local newspaper, a new decree will impose a 4 per cent municipality taxes on hotel bills and a Dh15 charge per night per room. The fees will be collected by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) and added to the government budget of the Department of Municipal Affairs.
The new taxes on hotel bills in Abu Dhabi could raise hundreds of millions of dirhams in revenue for municipal authorities.
Abu Dhabi hotels already charge all guests and customers a city tax of 6 per cent and a 10 per cent service charge.
Last year, 4.1 million guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels, staying a total of 12.24 million nights. That could have fetched the government Dh183.6 million based on the new Dh15 fee per room per night. The 4 per cent municipality fees charged on the total bill would raise an additional Dh264.8m based on last year’s hotel revenues.
Hotel guest numbers gained 18 per cent last year, compared with the year earlier.
TCA has not yet published tourism targets for this year.
Abu Dhabi’s room rates fell in February along with average occupancy. The average occupancy rate was 77.6 per cent, down from 81.5 per cent a year earlier. The average daily room rate was Dh157.95 in February this year, down from Dh217.20.
Dubai introduced a “tourism dirham” of between Dh7 for budget hotels and guesthouses and Dh20 for five-star hotels and luxury hotel apartments in 2014. The fee is charged per room per night.
Dubai hotels also impose a 10 per cent service charge and 10 per cent municipality fees per room per night.
Hotels in Ras Al Khaimah also charge a Dh15 tourism fee per room per night and a 10 per cent service charge.