Posted by Neil King
About 1.9 million hotel guests are expected to visit Abu Dhabi in 2011, representing a 15 per cent increase on this year.
That is according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which said that such a "robust growth forecast" had driven major hotel developments in Abu Dhabi while also encouraging collaboration between key industry players such as hotel chains, travel agencies, tour operators and airlines.
Indeed, ADTA noted that Cristal Hotels and Resorts is planning to open the Cristal Salam Hotel in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2011 "as part of a long-term strategy to capitalise on the strong growth potential of Abu Dhabi".
The company also revealed recently that it has signed a contract to be the new partner of Etihad Guest, a loyalty programme from Etihad Airways which provides various exclusive privileges to over 850,000 members.
Peter Blackburn, chief executive officer of Cristal Hotels and Resorts, said: "The launch of the Cristal Salam Hotel and the aggressive expansion program that we have implemented in Abu Dhabi is part of a broader regional expansion plan that aims to increase the company's portfolio to 25 properties all over the Middle East and Africa."