Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum has been dubbed the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the emirate’s tourism push. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 March 2019
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Abu Dhabi cuts fees to boost tourism, hospitality sectors

  • The capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of dollars in industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil
  • ‘The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,’ said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s tourism department

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi has reduced tourism-related fees to help the ailing hospitality sector and attract more visitors as the oil-rich emirate looks to diversify its economy.
The Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) said on Tuesday it has reduced tourism fees from 6 to 3.5 percent, municipal fees from 4 to 2 percent and municipality hotel room fees per night from 15 dirhams ($4) to 10 dirhams.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of dollars in industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its economy away from oil.
Abu Dhabi is home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Warner Bros. world-themed indoor park and other attractions.
Two more museums, the Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum, are being built.
Neighboring Dubai welcomed a record 15.9 million tourists last year compared with Abu Dhabi’s 10 million hotel guests in 2018.
The move to reduce the fees came on the back of a study on Abu Dhabi’s hotels conducted by the DCT.
“The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT. “It is necessary to support this sector as it experiences difficulties to allow it to contribute to the achievement of future goals.”
The financial impact of the reduction in fees would be 1 billion dirhams over the next three years, he said.
DCT also plans to spend 500 million dirhams over the next three years toward marketing the emirate and attract tourists, as part of the Abu Dhabi government’s accelerators program called Ghadan 21.


Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

Updated 59 min 20 sec ago
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Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

  • Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier
  • The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period

WASHINGTON: Twitter said Tuesday its profits tripled in the past quarter even as it ramped up efforts to root out abuse and misconduct on its short messaging platform.
Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier, while revenues increased 18 percent to $787 million.
Twitter’s global user base appeared to show modest growth even as the company transitions to a different way of measuring it.
The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period, an increase of nine million from the past quarter but down slightly from a year ago.
But Twitter no longer will use that measure, switching instead to “monetizable” daily active users — 134 million in the past quarter, up from 120 million last year.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter is benefiting from its moves to root out abusive and inauthentic content that had hurt Twitter’s reputation.
“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” said Dorsey.
“We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported.”
He added that Twitter aims to become “more conversational” and has launched a prototype for a new app called “twttr,” with the goal of “making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid and more fun.”