Abu Dhabi records 18% rise in hotel guests in October

The tourism body said that 418,883 guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments in October. (Courtesy Yas Viceroy Hotel)
Updated 25 November 2017
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Abu Dhabi records 18% rise in hotel guests in October

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi hotels reported brisk demand in October with Chinese visitor arrivals to the emirate expanding at high double-digit figures, latest data released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) show.
The tourism body said that 418,883 guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments in October, or about 18 percent higher compared with the same month of last year. Year-to-date guest arrivals meanwhile rose by 8 percent to 3.9 million as of October.
“The emirate [is] on track to surpass last year’s record total of 4.4 million,” the tourism authority said, as it earlier predicted the number of international visitors to Abu Dhabi would reach 4.9 million this year, a 10 percent rise from 2016.
The Abu Dhabi tourism body said that the lifting of the visa restrictions on visitors from China at the beginning of the year underpinned a 88 percent rise in tourists from the Asian country to 32,000 during the month.
The benefits reaped from the department’s extensive marketing campaigns across the country including the new ‘Abu Dhabi Week in China’ initiative held recently in Shanghai, the agency said.
Guest arrivals from the US also rose by 80 percent to 18,000 during the month, while major source markets UK and India reported 26 percent and 22 percent increase in visitors to the emirate, respectively.
“Our sustained efforts in improving the worldwide appeal of Abu Dhabi to tourists for both business and leisure is continuing to reap rewards, with the latest figures for guest arrivals supporting our endeavors,” Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General of DCT, said in a statement.
“Record numbers of people are staying in our expansive choice of accommodation across all three regions of the emirate and we aim to sustain and improve on this growth throughout Q4, traditionally our busiest time of the year.”
The Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island was opened early this month as the Abu Dhabi government refocuses its economy on non-oil sectors for growth, and has been extensively marketed by the emirate as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of tourism.
Louvre Abu Dhabi will display more than 700 exhibits, with artwork and artifacts from all over the world.


American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

Updated 15 November 2018
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American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

  • The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets
  • ‘Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing’

WASHINGTON: American Airlines Group Inc. said on Wednesday it was “unaware” of some functions of an anti-stall system on Boeing Co’s 737 MAX until last week.
Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued guidance on the system last week after a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.
The FAA warned airlines last week that erroneous inputs from the system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control.
The system was designed to prevent the jet from stalling, according to information provided by Boeing to airlines.
“We value our partnership with Boeing, but were unaware of some of the functionality of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) installed on the MAX 8,” an American Airlines spokesman said.
“We must ensure that our pilots are fully trained on procedures and understand key systems on the aircraft they fly.”
Indonesian investigators said on Monday the situation the crew of a doomed Lion Air jet was believed to have faced was not contained in the aircraft’s flight manual. US pilot unions were also not aware of potential risks, pilot unions said.
The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets in the wake of the Lion Air crash, the regulator said on Tuesday.
The American Airlines spokesman said his airline was continuing to work with Boeing and the FAA and would keep pilots informed of any updates.
A Boeing spokeswoman said the manufacturer could not discuss specifics of an ongoing investigation but it had provided two updates for operators around the world that re-emphasize existing procedures to deal with situations relating to MCAS.
“We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX,” she said. “Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing.”