Over 10 million travelers visited Abu Dhabi last year

Over 10 million travelers visited Abu Dhabi last year


Figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) show that the emirate welcomed over 10 million international visitors in 2018, maintaining an ongoing growth it has been three years.  The UAE capital, which has witnessed an increase in hotel guests to the emirate of 14 percent 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 2.7 people to the emirate; further booting visitation metrics.   

The emirate 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.  

Hotel guests increased by four percent year on year ing 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.

Several sectors have significantly contributed to Abu Dhabi’s growing appeal to international travellers, with cultural tourism perhaps the most prominent; a highlight of which was the addition of Louvre Abu Dhabi to the emirate’s portfolio, garnering global attention upon its launch in 2017.

The first component of the ambitious Saadiyat Cultural District, the first universal museum in the region attracted more than 1 million visitors in its first year and put Abu Dhabi on the world’s ‘cultural map’. The reopening of the Al Hosn site was also a significant event for cultural tourism in Abu Dhabi, with the oldest building in the emirate, now a museum showcasing Abu Dhabi’s history and Emirati culture, reopening to great acclaim in late 2018.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s Convention Bureau has achieved notable success in this time period, successfully bidding for globally recognised events such as the aforementioned Special Olympics, which will be held in Abu Dhabi this year, as well as beating off competitive bids from both Rio de Janeiro and St Petersburg to host the 2019 World Energy Congress (WEC), one of the world’s most important energy forums.

The cruise sector has also seen vast leaps forward in the last three years, with the new Abu Dhabi cruise terminal opening – a first of its kind in the region, offering state-of-the-art port facilities and features, such as airline check in, not offered anywhere else in the region – as well as the Sir Bani Yas Beach development. Both have increased Abu Dhabi’s appeal as an attractive port of call and homeport destination which has translated into an increase of 27.82% in cruise passengers to Abu Dhabi. 279,70

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