The number of guests staying in the 118 hotels and hotel apartments throughout Abu Dhabi emirate in the first 10 months of this year has reached 1,477,978 – a 16% rise on the same period in 2009.

The figures, released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), mean that the emirate, which has witnessed a surge in its accommodation stock over the past 12 months, looks certain to achieve, if not surpass, its 2010 target of 1.65 million hotel guests – a rise of 10% on last year.

From January – October end, Abu Dhabi also recorded a 15% year-on-year increase in guest nights which rose to 4,096,140.

October proved one of Abu Dhabi’s best performing months this year with an 18% year-on-year increase in guest numbers which came in at 151,335 and a 4% rise in their average length of stay to 3.3 nights.

“We anticipate November’s performance will be equally impressive with the emirate having hosted a number of key trade exhibitions and, of course, the 2010 Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Add to this the recent opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the arrival of the Yas Island Show Weekends which the hotels on Yas Island are supporting with extremely attractive deals and our annual target is well within our sights,” said Lawrence Franklin, Strategy and Policy Director, ADTA.

“Our tourism proposition is at its most compelling and the task going forward to maintain this upward momentum.”Domestic tourism continues to perform well growing 15% year-on-year to 616,238 with international hotel guests increasing by 17% to 861.560.

In terms of guest nights, the UK continues to be the top performing international market with an 18% increase year-on-year accounting for some 420,204 guest nights.

The United States came in second, growing 35% year-on-year to 344,183. Russia, where ADTA plans to open a destination promotion office by the end of the year, increased year-on-year by 13% to 35,787.

ADTA recently laid out its 2011 tourism agenda which is aimed at delivering 1.9 million hotel guests staying in around 22,000 hotel rooms and contributing 11.1% to the emirate’s overall non-oil GDP. The targets will mean a 15% rise on the 2010 hotel guest target, an increase of over 5,000 hotels rooms and a 0.4% increase in overall non-oil GDP contribution.