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November 4, 2008

Abu Dhabi to regulate hotel prices

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is to start regulating hotel room rates during peak exhibition dates with an aim to stamping out inflated prices and profiteering.


ADTA will regulate hotel room rates in the capital from November 1 to 8, to coincide with the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from November 3 to 6.


It is hoped the new regulations will help Abu Dhabi secure long-term business tourism.


“ADTA takes very seriously its responsibility for the longer-term development of a sustainable industry which benefits locals and visitors alike. To this end, the ADTA sought from the Executive Council limited powers to influence accommodation prices and conditions,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, ADTA.


ADTA decided on a rating scale after asking accommodation providers to supply their high season corporate rates for the ADIPEC week. The average room rates were then compared with international markets such as London, New York and Singapore, in order to provide a market benchmark.


The majority of hotel corporate rates were deemed acceptable. However, for hotels setting charges above the market average the lower ADTA capped prices will be enforced. For guests who have already booked rooms at escalated prices during the ADIPEC week a refund will be issued on the price differential.


Abu Dhabi currently has a rooms shortage but additional inventory is set to come online next year, helping to alleviate the supply/demand shortfall. ADTA has a target to achieve a total of 30,000 hotel rooms in the emirate by 2013. ADTA hopes that once the market has an adequate rooms supply self-regulation by the hospitality industry will enable Abu Dhabi to maintain competitive pricing structures for its hotels both in peak and off-peak seasons.

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