Russian tourists to UAE decline

Russian tourists to UAE decline
The luxury Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort is a popular holiday hotspot for domestic tourism guests.

Abu Dhabi - 10% less arrivals this year attributed to difficult economic conditions.

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Wed 12 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Aug 2015, 11:03 AM

The overall tourist arrivals in Abu Dhabi grew 17 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year, however, there was a sharp drop of ten per cent in Russia tourists restrict its tourists to go travel abroad and has led to 10 per cent drop in their arrivals here.
The Russian tourist known for their high spend stayed home this year as their arrivals was 10 per cent less than the last year to 14,453 guest arrivals. The chief reason for the drop is the difficult economic conditions in their home country where rouble is facing a sharp depreciation in value.
With the absence of some of the highly welcomed Russian tourists who are top shoppers at the malls in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the sales are also affected. UAE's luxury retail segment is facing challenges recently, as the value of Russian rouble has depreciated 57 per cent year-on-year, which has caused a slump in the number of tourists to Dubai, says Carla Slim an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai, in a research note. In contrast, Chinese guest numbers rose 72 per cent year-on-year. Guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi in the first six months of the year numbered more than 1.98 million, a rise of 17 per cent generating 5,728,765 guest nights in the emirate's 163 hotel and hotel apartments, an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year, figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) reveal.
India has regained its spot as Abu Dhabi's largest international source market seeing an 18 per cent year-on-year growth, followed by the UK, China, Germany and the United States as largest overseas markets. Other counties in the top ten include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan. In order to stimulate consumer interest and awareness from Russia and the CIS states, a special Abu Dhabi Festival featuring a host of the emirate's tourism providers will be held in Moscow 's Hermitage Gardens later this month, dedicated to emirate's culture and traditions and vibrant sports and events calendar. Total revenue for hotel establishments recorded an eight per cent increase, room revenue increased by 11 per cent, food and beverage revenue increased by one per cent while other revenues - which includes services such as venue hire and business events - rose 22 per cent.
June 2015 showed an increase of two per cent in hotel guests when compared to June of last year.
"We set ourselves a challenging guest arrivals target of 3.9 million hotel guests for this year, which we are very confident of achieving, especially given that our highly impressive half-year figures show double digit growth," said Jasem Al Darmaki, acting director general, TCA Abu Dhabi. Domestic tourism from within the UAE which accounts for a third of all guest arrivals has shown impressive year-on-year growth of 14 per cent, with a stellar performance from the Western Region's 10 hotels recording a 48 per cent year-on-year increase.

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