Abu Dhabi now cheaper for UK tourists as emirate reveals it’s cutting tourism fees | Travel News | Travel

Abu Dhabi – the capital of the United Arab Emirates – has reduced tourism fees from six per cent to just 3.5 per cent.

These are the fees applied to hotel stays and dining at food and beverage outlets attached to hotels.

Municipality fees have also been cut from four per cent to two per cent – hotel guests have to pay these on top of their hotel bill.

Tourism fees apply to all guests staying at hotels, hotel apartments, guesthouses and holiday homes.

Many high end restaurant add the tourism levy to bills on top of service charge (usually around 10 per cent).

It is common for diners to leave a tip on top of this as well.

The programme to reduce tourism fees, which was proposed by Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, forms part of the Abu Dhabi Development Accelerators Programmes.

The lowering in fees – approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Committee – comes as part of drive to encourage tourism and investment in tourism in the emirate.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Al Mubarak said that Abu Dhabi’s hotel establishments will be further able to record high occupancy rates compared to the regional and global tourism markets.

“With this decision, hotels and hospitality establishments can achieve more growth and stay in line with the continuous development of the emirate’s infrastructure and its wide variety of cultural and leisure attractions,” Al Mubarak said.

“This is in addition to DCT Abu Dhabi’s promotional focus in key markets, adding impetus to these success stories and raising the occupancy rate in the emirate.

“The adoption of the proposal will enhance Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness to investors and support the development of additional tourism projects and hotels. 

“It will also strengthen the emirate’s position as a leading tourism destination for both business and leisure.”

“With the fees now being minimal and having a limited impact on accommodation costs, this will help us achieve our vision to strengthen the emirate’s position as the preferred destination for tourists from across the region and beyond,” Al Mubarak added.

Tourism is one of Abu Dhabi’s fastest growing sectors, and the capital has recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros World and Al Hudayriat Island.

The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi has increased dramatically this year. 

The emirate has 162 hotels and hotel apartments and occupancy increased by 7.3 per cent to over 1.7 million during the first four months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, the emirate’s tourism authority revealed last month.

This comes as more tourists from China, India and the USA are drawn to Abu Dhabi.

The emirate’s aim to to attract 7.5 million visitors per year by 2030.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “We are making good progress in attracting more people to explore our emirate, as we make sure awareness of our touristic and cultural proposition is communicated effectively and efficiently to our global markets.

“We are pleased to be so far on track to beat 2017’s numbers, but we are well aware that challenges are ever present, as we bid to boost the Abu Dhabi economy and support our drive for economic diversification.”

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