Abu Dhabi targets 24 million visitors by 2023
Ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2023, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced new performance targets for Abu Dhabi, which include plans to attract more than 24 million visitors to the emirate by the end of 2023.
Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, affirmed the start of an ambitious new chapter for the emirate’s tourism sector. The new targets follow a surge in Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector in 2022, with hotel occupancy rates and other metrics demonstrating that the sector’s revival is well underway. The emirate received a total 18 million visitors representing a 13 percent increase from previous year, while the hotel occupancy rates reached 70 percent, which surpasses the Middle East average of 67 percent .
The emirate welcomed visitors from around the world, with the highest number of international visitors arriving from India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, respectively. The improved domestic and international market performance can be attributed to increased destination awareness and consideration of Abu Dhabi’s increased range of year-round entertainment and sporting events, as well as trade events and roadshows.
Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi: “Our ambitious goal to welcome more 24 million visitors by end of 2023 builds on healthy growth over the past year. This encouraging performance was enabled through powerful collaborations and delivery of memorable travel and business experiences across the whole year, supported by an integrated ecosystem of best-in-class services, infrastructure, and impactful marketing. In Abu Dhabi we are demonstrating the power of partnerships across the tourism sector and the fact that collectively we can thrive.”
Commenting on the new targets, Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The success we have achieved so far inspires us to strive for more. We are committed to deliver on our ambitions for 2023 by further elevating the successful strategy of creating and delivering unique experiences for everyone to enjoy and diverse range of year-round events for visitors in collaboration with our global IP partners. This is complemented by a MICE industry that continues to thrive, owing to the emirate’s world-leading venues, hotels and supporting facilities.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Calendar successfully hosted a diverse range of over 100 events during a 180-day period, featuring an impressive line-up of A-list global talent. From the legendary Grammy award-winning singer Sting to K-pop sensations BLACKPINK, and Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman, the events left audiences captivated and entertained.
The emirate also played host to some popular homegrown family festivals such as the Mother of the Nation (MOTN) and LIWA festivals, which added to the cultural richness and vibrancy of the city.
Abu Dhabi also proved itself as a premier destination for global sport by hosting key events such as the renowned Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, NBA, and UFC. These events drew in massive crowds and garnered global attention, solidifying Abu Dhabi’s status as a world-class destination for entertainment and sports enthusiasts.
In line with DCT Abu Dhabi’s mission to provide a diverse range of experiences, 2022 witnessed the launch of two tourism campaigns: ‘Experience Abu Dhabi, Find Your Pace’ and ‘Summer Like You Mean It’. Additionally, a month-long program of activities was held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s, alongside two high-profile events, namely, Abu Dhabi Art and Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.
Looking ahead to 2023, DCT Abu Dhabi is determined to offer even more ambitious campaigns and events that showcase its commitment to providing memorable experiences to a worldwide audience, leveraging the strength of its partnerships.