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The UK remained the third-highest contributor of hotel guests to Abu Dhabi in 2015, latest figures show.


Arrivals to the emirate from the UK rose by 14% year-on-year to 231,337.


This equated to 958,022 guest nights, a 9% increase as the UK maintained its position as the leading European source country to Abu Dhabi – venue for this year’s Abta Travel Convention in October.


It was the third year in succession that the UK produced a double-digit growth percentage, with figures up from 140,393 in 2012 to 162,973 in 2013, then to 203,788 in 2014.


Overall figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority show an 18% increase in hotel guests in 2015.


A total of 4.1 million checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and apartments, staying a total of 12.2 million nights, up 17% year-on-year. Hotel occupancy was 75.4%.


Arrivals from Ireland increased by 41% from 17,613 in 2014 to 24,849 – a result that sees Ireland break into the top 25 performing nations of 2015.


Tourism authority UK and Ireland country manager, Nabeel Al Zarouni, said: “It’s great to see the UK market continuing to grow at such a fast rate.


“We’ve achieved double-digit growth every year since 2012. And with cruise ships home-porting in the new cruise terminal encouraging pre- and post-cruise stays, landmark hotels from Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt and Fairmont all opening this year, plus the hotly-anticipated unveiling of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, we’re expecting similar growth levels in 2016.” 


China was the best performing market in terms of growth, recording a 47% increase in visitor numbers. South Africa was another top performer of 2015, with visitor numbers increasing 42%.


The top 10 inbound markets for 2015 were: UAE, India, UK, China, US, Philippines, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Ireland was in 23rd place.