Abu Dhabi Q3 review shows recovery in tourism after COVID-19 decline

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Abu Dhabi
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The tourism industry of Abu Dhabi has posted a significant gain in the third quarter of 2020 after a steep fall in the second quarter caused by the COVID-19 and related restrictions.

The findings were revealed in the quarterly industry development committee meeting of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi which further discussed signs of sector recovery as well as future projects and plans to stimulate the tourism industry in the emirate.

The committee meeting included major shareholders and leading entities from across the industry to share the current status of tourism activities in the emirate.

In the third quarter, the hotels in Abu Dhabi achieved the highest occupancy rates and the third-highest revenue per room in the region. When compared to the second quarter hotel revenues surged by 46 percent with a 95 percent increase in the number of guests.

The signs of recovery were further reflected through an estimated 83 percent increase in footfall at malls across the emirate and a 119 percent increase in airline bookings. Seating capacity for all airlines operating in Abu Dhabi surged by 364 percent during the period.

This notable recovery in the domestic tourism activity was a result of campaigns led by DCT Abu Dhabi like ‘Go Safe’, ‘Unbox Amazing’ and ‘Rediscover Abu Dhabi’.

The region’s first comprehensive safety and hygiene certification program, ‘Go Safe’ has aided in retrieving consumer’s trust regarding the safety across hotels and public places. The initiative was launched across all the hotels in the emirate, with 93 of these hotels obtaining full certification in Q3.

Saood Al Hosani
Saood Al Hosani
Acting Undersecretary
DCT Abu Dhabi

“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. 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.”

Al Hosani further added that tourism continues to be one of the key driving factors of Abu Dhabi’s economic growth and the department will be working with the emirate’s government and other authorities to further build on these achievements.

DCT Abu Dhabi also shared some of its future projects including the implementation of a cashless payment system within the sector and developing a dedicated bus route for tourism sites.

“Even during challenging periods, our vision to position Abu Dhabi as a leading tourism destination remains front of mind. This year has highlighted, more than ever before, the importance of innovation and collaboration in overcoming the challenges of the future,” says Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.