More than 40,000 Saudi tourists have visited the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the first half of this year, an increase of 73 percent compared to the same time last year.

“The number of Saudi tourists visiting the Emirate is expected to go up by about 50 percent during the second half of the year,” said Mubarak Al-Shamsi, director of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism & Culture.

“During the past three years, the Kingdom has emerged as the fifth largest tourist market for the Emirate. Our current tour of the Kingdom is proof of the strategic importance the Saudi market plays in helping us to achieve our tourist objectives,” he added.

According to Al-Shamsi, 36,430 Saudi tourists stayed for 79,307 nights at hotels in Abu Dhabi during the first half of the current year, marking an increase of about 37 percent over the same period last year.

He said the number of hotel occupants in Abu Dhabi rose by about 17 percent during the month of June, including 6,661 Saudis, which is an increase of about 57 percent over last year’s numbers.

“Opur hotels offer discounts of 50 percent on all services extended to Saudi tourists,” he explained.