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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: A defense show provided Abu Dhabi hotels a boost in February, after the emirate hosted its first major in-person exhibition since the coronavirus pandemic broke out last year.
The five-day International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), together with its sister event the Naval Defense Exhibition, attracted over 62,000 visitors from 59 countries.
“Lifted by IDEX, Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry reported its best performance since the start of the pandemic,” global hospitality sector data provider STR said.
“In addition to higher absolute levels, year-over-year comparisons were more favorable than previous months.”
Hotel room occupancy was pegged at 65.4 percent during the month, average daily rate (ADR) was at 316.07 dirhams and revenue per available room (RevPAR) was at 236.03. But both the ADR and RevPAR, crucial metrics for the hotel industry’s performance and profitability, remained below their year-ago levels.
“When looking at daily data, Abu Dhabi hotels saw their highest ADR (+50.5 percent to 606.80 dirhams) and RevPAR (+34.4 percent to 446.57 dirhams) levels for the month on the first day of the conference,” STR said.
Abu Dhabi has signaled its readiness to again allow business or entertainment events, but maintains stringent protocols to ensure compliance with coronavirus safety measures put in place.
People attending such events must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained during the preceding 48 hours, while organizers and staff members will also have to undergo testing on a weekly basis, a circular issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi said.
Capacity for visitors attending business events will be capped at 50 per cent, the circular said, and 30 per cent for those attending entertainment events.
Visitors, exhibitors and delegates must also fill out registration forms in advance, with contact numbers in case of emergencies. Staff and contractors of events must install the Al Hosn app, which details an individual’s coronavirus-related information.
The emirate has been constantly updating its ‘green list’ of countries and destinations from which travelers can enter without needing to quarantine on arrival. There are now 13 destinations included on Abu Dhabi’s travel list, including Australia, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Inclusion on the list largely depends on developments regarding a country’s COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
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