Abu Dhabi welcomed 1.6 million visitors in the last year according to the UAE capital city’s tourism and culture agency.
The figures represented a a 7% growth compared to the same period ending in April 2016.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) director general HE Saif Saeed Ghobash said: “Efforts to stimulate interest in our destination continue unabated and we are encouraged by our latest hotel guest arrival results which continue to show strong progress. As we expand our year-round programme of events and develop new cultural and family attractions, we expect even greater traction in enticing more people to explore the emirate.
“Our inaugural Culture Summit in April brought together leaders of the world’s art, media and cultural policy communities from 80 countries, while Abu Dhabi International Book Fair attracted more than 300,000 visitors. Both these events contributed to highlighting our vision of developing the emirate into a thriving cultural hub and a global cultural destination.”
China has maintained its position as the largest overseas source market with 131,253 hotel guest arrivals, followed by India with 104,436 and the UK with 86,529.
The surge from China reflects the recent relaxation of entry visa rules, with Chinese visitors now given visas on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport or other points of entry into the UAE.
Each of the six international tier-one markets of China, India, UK, USA, Germany and Saudi Arabia showed growth.
Domestic hotel guest numbers in April also grew impressively, numbering 130,000, with each of the emirate’s three districts – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions – all experiencing an upturn in arrivals.