Chinese visitors to UAE rise 200 per cent in first quarter

The number of Chinese visitors staying in UAE hotels and hotel apartments rose to 32,259 in the first quarter of 2014, according to figures released today.

This was more than 200 per cent higher than the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2013.

“They delivered 50,253 guest nights – an increase of 139 per cent and stayed, on average 1.58 nights,” according to a statement released by Abu Dhabi’s Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA). “China currently ranks as the emirate’s fourth largest overseas market for hotel guests.”

The TCA announced today that an eight-person delegation from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) will start a five-day roadshow in China on 12 May. The delegation includes representatives of hotels, travel agents, attractions and Etihad Airways. It will visit in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

“Our task is to build awareness within China of the depth and range of Abu Dhabi’s tourism offering so that we both attract increasing numbers of visitors from the country while encouraging those that do come to stay longer,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, TCA Director Promotions & Overseas Offices. “We are confident of making progress as an increasing number of stakeholders are now realising the need to package bespoke product for the Chinese market and some of these will be rolled out during the roadshow.”

Farah Leisure Parks Management LLC, which operates the headline attractions of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld on Yas Island, reports it is hosting growing numbers of Chinese visitors.

“We have a strong network of travel agents and partners in the Chinese market and work closely with them on an ongoing basis to identify ways and means in which we can serve the Chinese market better,” said Bruno Wiley, Sales Director, Farah Leisure Parks Management. “This includes offering more convenient facilities for group travel, such as dedicated bus drop-off points for large groups and working to develop promotional collateral and ride descriptions in Mandarin and Cantonese so that Chinese tourists have a better idea of what to expect during their visit.”

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi recorded a 132 per cent rise in the number of Chinese guests in 2013.

“The outlook for Chinese guests for 2013 also bodes extremely well,” said Doris Grieff, the hotel’s general manager. “This year’s Q1 room night figures by Chinese guests increased by a further 199 per cent compared to 2013.”

Al Ain Zoo reported an upsurge in Chinese visitors. “Twenty per cent of our visitors are now Chinese coming through tour operators and numbers are increasing every year,” said director general HE Ghanem Mubarak Al Hajeri. He said the zoo hopes to have 10 per cent more visitors from China in 2014.

Al Diar Hotels, a division of Abu Dhabi National Hotels, says it has recruited a Chinese sales executive to help build traffic