Abu Dhabi welcomed more than 10 million international visitors in 2018, with the emirate also posting figures showing incredible growth over the last three years, powered by the addition of a host of world-class events and enhancements to all of its specialised tourism sectors, massive improvements to its infrastructure and significant development of its cultural assets.
The UAE capital, which has witnessed an increase in hotel guests to the emirate of 13.62% since the beginning of 2016, has worked hard to reinforce its position as a destination with remarkable global appeal and as a place destined to become a key cultural city of the future.
Abu Dhabi has seen huge advances across all areas of tourism sectors, including the cultural, business, family-focused and medical sectors, with the cruise sector providing more than 350,000 visitors to the emirate in 2018. The emirate’s world-class cultural assets also attracted more than 2,672,732 people to the emirate; further booting visitation metrics.
The UAE capital has also witnessed the addition of a number of world-class cultural institutions, such as the spectacular Louvre Abu Dhabi and the reopening of the iconic Qasr Al Hosn site, as well as the launch of several high profile events and initiatives which have added to its global reputation.
Figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) have shown more than 10 million visitors came to experience the UAE capital last year, made up of both day-trippers and overnight guests, with these hotel guests increasing by 3.94% compared to 2017 at one of the emirate’s 168 hotels or hotel apartments. In the last three years, Abu Dhabi has posted record numbers of hotel guests every year, regularly exceeding DCT Abu Dhabi’s annual targets.
The key markets of India, the US and China have all posted double-digit growth for hotel guests in 2018, underpinning the impressive surge in visitor numbers to the emirate. India and China remain the two top markets for overseas visitors, with the UK – the top European source market – rounding out the top three markets for overseas visitors.
“We are incredibly pleased to see these positive metrics, as year on year we have exceeded the already ambitious targets set for Abu Dhabi’s growth,” said HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi. “The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has made extraordinary strides since its very inception, and a snapshot of the last three years gives an even clearer indication of the strength of the emirate’s growth and standing on the global stage. We are now firmly established as a world-class cultural destination. With the emirate’s natural beauty as a stepping off point, Abu Dhabi has steadily enhanced its touristic and cultural proposition until today, visitors can now enjoy incredible options in entertainment – both sporting and artistic – retail, dining and hospitality, as well as top class cultural venues for visual and performing arts experiences. The soaring visitor figures we have seen are evidence of the increase in global appeal of our emirate.”