Tuesday, 1 February 2011 12:00 AM
Abu Dhabi hotels and apartments welcomed a total of 1.81 million visitors in 2010, meaning the local tourism organisation beat its guest target by eight per cent.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) also revealed that guest nights at the emirate's 114 accommodation properties increased by 19 per cent from 2009 to reach 5.13 million last year.
A 22 per cent increase was recorded in the number of UK travellers visiting the destination, which totalled 117,836 by the end of the year, while Americans, Australians and French tourists also showed more interest in Abu Dhabi.
Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general of the ADTA, said the growth can partly be attributed to a "substantial expansion" in the destination's product base.
New attractions such as Ferrari World were opened last year, while events like the Yas Island show weekends boosted the emirate's profile.
Looking forward to 2011, Mr Al Muhairi said Abu Dhabi is "well placed" to build on its positive performance and offer more experiences, promotions and events for guests.
He added: "We have several highlights to look forward to, not least the end-of-year hosting of the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, when the city will be activated to welcome visitors to a New Year's celebration like no other.
"We are also gearing up for the arrival, this October, of the luxury liner MSC Lirica, which will home port in Abu Dhabi during its 19 Gulf sailings from the UAE capital."
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