Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is planning to build a dedicated visitor centre in Al Gweifhat to better educate road travellers from Saudi Arabia on the region’s attraction as they pass through the area to enter the UAE.

The authority is also planning to create a dedicated industry development committee for the emirate’s western region, Al Gharbia, as it looks to stimulate growth in the area.

“There is substantial opportunity for inward tourism investment into the unique Al Gharbia region, where the desert meets the sea and where visitors can be among the tallest dunes in the world in the morning and go diving in waters rich in marine life in the afternoon,” Mohammed Al Dhaheri, Strategy & Policy Director, TCA Abu Dhabi told delegates.

“Currently there are only nine hotels in Al Gharbia – and only one of these is in the mid-range, four-star category. The hotels there now are performing quite well with Al Gharbia recording Abu Dhabi’s highest average room rate of around AED690.”

Demand for hotel accommodation in Al Gharbia is increasing. The first quarter of this year saw a 114% leap in the number of guests staying in Al Gharbia’s hotels compared to Q1 2013. The number of guest nights delivered doubled on Q1 last year despite the fact that there has been a 74% increase in the number of rooms available.