Abu Dhabi hotels get 1.37 m guests as tourism flourishes

Updated 04 September 2012
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Abu Dhabi hotels get 1.37 m guests as tourism flourishes

Abu Dhabi has welcomed 1.37 million hotel guests between January and July showing an increase of 11 percent over the corresponding seven month period last year and remains well-placed to meet its annual target of 2.3 million. “While traditionally lower travel rates during Ramadan saw Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments return a 6 percent drop in year-on-year hotel guests for the month of July, the average length of stay — a key growth focus — rose to 2.84 days last month, an increase of 6 percent on the corresponding month last year,” the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said yesterday.
In total, some 178,099 guests stayed at Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments in July, returning 504,982 guest nights — 1 percent down on the comparative month last year. The number of room nights dipped 4 percent, falling to 359,465 from the 373,254 tallied last July. Seven-month figures for guest nights and room nights show year-on-year increases of 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Food & beverage revenues — a key source of accommodation sector income — remained constant at AED 98.1 million to ensure seven-month takings are 10 percent up on last year, totaling AED 1 billion.
“We remain on track as we enter our traditional busy season. With a packed entertainment schedule of world-class events and a host of new leisure attractions due to open across the emirate, including the UAE’s largest water park, Yas Waterworld, we are confident momentum will rise and we’ll reach our 2.3 million hotel guest target,” said Mubarak Al-Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Asia displayed the strongest year-on-year hotel guest increase last month at 17 percent, followed closely by Europe at 12 percent and North America at 10 percent. Asia’s contribution was primarily driven by growth from Russia, which rose a staggering 128 percent, China (up 70 percent) and India (up 24 percent).
July also saw Germany re-establish itself as Abu Dhabi’s fastest-growing European source market — and eighth largest in total — as it contributed 5,380 hotel guests for the month, a year-on-year jump of 46 percent.
July’s best performing source markets were the UAE, which contributed 73,104 hotels guests, India with 10,753, the United Kingdom with 8,195 and Saudi Arabia with 7,235. In an effort to further boost inbound visitation from the Kingdom, TCA Abu Dhabi last week concluded its largest-ever promotional road show across three Saudi cities.
After seven months of the year, strong domestic custom ensures the UAE continues to top the 2012 table of total hotel guests at 522,141 a 6 percent increase over the same period last year — followed by the United Kingdom at 79,660 (down 2 percent), India at 76,272 (up 30 percent) and Germany at 54,506 (up 45 percent).


New Zealand PM stays in hospital with ‘hungry’ baby

Updated 44 min 1 sec ago
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New Zealand PM stays in hospital with ‘hungry’ baby

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to spend a second night in hospital with her “very alert and hungry” newborn daughter, her office said Friday.
The realities of motherhood have seen plans for a public appearance by the 37-year-old with her baby canceled twice.
Ardern is only the second world leader to give birth while in office, following Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto whose daughter Bakhtawar was born in 1990.
She has yet to announce the name of the child, but a spokesman for her office said “everyone is doing well if not a bit tired” and Ardern spent a lot of time feeding the baby during the night.
“The nurses described the baby as ‘very alert and one hungry baby’,” the spokesman added.
The baby arrived Thursday afternoon, weighing 3.3 kilogrammes (7.3 pounds).
It is the first child for Ardern and her 40-year-old partner Clarke Gayford, a television fishing personality who will become a stay-at-home dad when she returns to work after six weeks of maternity leave.
Her deputy Winston Peters is now acting prime minister, although Ardern will continue to be consulted on significant issues.
The birth capped an eventful year for Ardern who became prime minister last October, three months after inheriting the leadership of the Labour Party when it was languishing in the polls.
Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari tweeted “congratulations” and shared a link to a news story on how the Pakistani leader showed it was possible to be a mother and a prime minister.