Sands attracts Gulf visitors
The Sands Hotel Abu Dhabi is humming again with occupancy levels rising and European golfing groups signalling their return to the UAE capital after last yearÕs setback.And to encourage more visitors from within the GCC, the hotel is offering special rates for Gulf residents of Dh250 ($68) net for single room and Dh280 for a double room. The offer which includes complimentary stay for two children under 12 years old if sharing with parents and free breakfast, is on cash payment basis and depending on room availability, the hotel said. General manager Majeed Khalil said occupancy rate in the year to date had improved significantly to 71 per cent compared to 51 per cent last year due largely to the setbacks of September 11. He said the hotelÕs primary target markets were GCC residents and nationals visiting Abu Dhabi. He said the hotel had also been successful in luring back European golfing groups who had cancelled their visits to the region after September 11. Khalil said he had contacted the group at the ITB in Berlin earlier this year and the response was Òvery positiveÓ. ÒThe Sands Hotel and Abu Dhabi Golf Club have four groups already confirmed to come to Abu Dhabi between November and March 2003,Ó he said. Khalil said the growing competition in the regional market was healthy in which the Òguests always benefitÓ. ÒWith increased competition hotel managers become more innovative and strive to provide the best service and the best value,Ó he said. The hotel which was refurbished two years ago, aims to build additional banqueting facility by next year to accommodate up to 200 people.