Big numbers: Abu Dhabi records surges in hotel occupancy, airline bookings, mall footfall

Department of Culture says latest indicators offer 'promising signs' of recovery

Walkway to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Walkway to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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The tourism sector in Abu Dhabi is showing signs of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, with airlines, hotels and malls recently reporting improvements in key indicators.

Carriers operating in the emirate noted a 119 percent increase in bookings and 364 percent jump in seating capacity during the third quarter of 2020, while malls saw footfall traffic going up by 83 percent, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said in a statement on Sunday.

Hotels in the emirate also saw guest numbers go up by 95 percent and revenues by 46 percent compared to the second quarter.

The tourism sector has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Hotel occupancy, airline bookings and visitor traffic had plummeted worldwide after coronavirus brought global travel to a standstill.

Feedback from stakeholders

DCT Abu Dhabi has recently conducted its quarterly industry development committee meeting where stakeholders and major entities from across the tourism sector shared the latest updates on the state of the tourism sector in the emirate.

“The meeting offered promising signs of recovery for the sector, as well as a glimpse into future projects and plans to boost tourism in the emirate,” DCT Abu Dhabi said.

It added that the latest indicators demonstrate the tourism sector’s “recovery trajectory after an abrupt slowdown” during the second quarter of the year.

“Within Q3, Abu Dhabi achieved the highest hotel occupancy rates and the third highest revenue per room in the region,” added DCT Abu Dhabi.

Agility, adaptability

Saood Al Hosani, acting undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi attributed the positive performance to the emirate’s “agility and adaptability” in the face of the unprecedented threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite the profound disruptions caused by restrictions to public mobility, the positive indicators we have seen in the third quarter of this year are a testament to the agility and adaptability of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry in response to the evolving market landscape,” he said.

“Alongside the launch of Air Arabia and WizzAir this year, which represents a significant vote of confidence in Abu Dhabi’s ongoing role as a travel hub, pioneering initiatives such as our Go Safe certification programme and our Rediscover Abu Dhabi campaign, have successfully resulted in the initial signs of a strong recovery,” he added.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2020

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