Abu Dhabi has set out plans to make hotel stays in the emirate cheaper in an attempt to boost tourism.
The emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism announced on Friday that government fees paid by hotels and customers would be reduced to support growth in the hospitality and tourism sector.
The measures include the reduction of a tourism fee issued to guests from 6 per cent to 4 per cent, the removal of a municipality fee of Dh15 a room per night and the lifting a 6 per cent tourism fee and a 4 per cent municipality fee applied to hotel restaurants.
The changes will come into effect from September 1.
The municipality fee for 4 per cent of the value of the invoice issued to the customer will continue, the authority said.
The Abu Dhabi Media Office said the move – made under the directives of Abu Dhabi Executive Council – was aimed at “enhancing Abu Dhabi as a leading global leisure and tourism destination”.
“As part of its mandate, DCT Abu Dhabi continuously elevates the standards of the emirate’s tourism, culture, and hospitality offerings in the emirate,” the media office said.
Abu Dhabi visitor numbers surge
The UAE capital welcomed 18 million visitors last year, official figures released this week showed.
The three most visited cultural sites in the capital were Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Cultural Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn.
Overnight visitors reached 4.1 million, a 24 per cent increase from the previous year.
Travellers are staying in the capital for an average of three nights, with hotel occupancy rates averaging 70 per cent, higher than the average across the Middle East.
According to data analytics company STR, the region averaged 63.6 per cent occupancy last year.
Abu Dhabi has sought to cement its status as a leading visitor attraction in recent years, with a focus on culture, sports and family life.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2017, remains the crown jewel of the Saadiyat Cultural District.
It was joined earlier this year by the Abrahamic Family House, a multi-faith place of worship celebrating harmony and tolerance.
The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum will also form part of the cultural centre.
Abu Dhabi plays host to the season-ending race in the Formula One calendar, has staged high-profile UFC cards and has welcomed some of the biggest NBA basketball stars to the court.
The city has also increased its presence on a global stage through the launch of Experience Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s destination brand.
Concerts and events including Disney on Ice, which welcomed 29,000 visitors, and The Lion King, with nearly 50,000, have also enhanced the emirate’s appeal.