Charge per night to fund tourism in­fra­struc­ture

Guides give a help­ing hand

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @is­mailsebu is­

Abu Dhabi will im­pose a new charge on ho­tel guests across the emi­rate from Wed­nes­day as part of ef­forts to boost the amount of in­vest­ment go­ing into in­fra­struc­ture and at­trac­tions.

The De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and Trans­port and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cul­ture Au­thor­ity ( TCA Abu Dhabi) an­nounced the move yes­ter­day.

The new fee will be an ad­di­tional 4 per­cent of a guest’s ho­tel bill stay plus an­other Dhs15 charge per night per room.

At present, ho­tels in Abu Dhabi charge guests a 6 per cent city tax and a 10 per cent ser­vice charge.

“The new mu­nic­i­pal fee is in line with fees im­posed on ho­tel res­i­dents in other re­gional des­ti­na­tions and is stan­dard prac­tice in the hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices sec­tor world­wide,” a mu­nic­i­pal state­ment read.

“The mu­nic­i­pal fees im­posed on ho­tels are min­i­mal and will not con­sti­tute a fi­nan­cial burden on ho­tel guests, given that the ho­tel charge per night in the emi­rate is the least com­pared to neigh­bour­ing mar­kets.”

The new fees will be col­lected by TCA By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo Abu Dhabi and will form part of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s bud­get.

Of­fi­cials said the move will im­prove the city’s ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors.

Rome charges 5-star ho­tel guests Dhs37 per night while Florence and Venice charge Dhs41. The Span­ish is­lands of Ibiza and Ma­jorca also charge up to Dhs8 per night, for ex­am­ple.

Mohammed Qader, a travel agent in Abu Dhabi, says he be­lieves the tax could af­fect how long vis­i­tors stay.

He said: “It is a small charge com­pared to other cities but I think would make some guests re­duce the num­ber of days they are to stay in ho­tels, es­pe­cially dur­ing the first months of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“But the charge will be­come nor­mal, peo­ple will get used to it.”

Dubai in­tro­duced a “tourism dirham" of be­tween Dhs7 for bud­get ho­tels and guest­houses and Dhs20 for five-star ho­tels and luxury ho­tel apart­ments in 2014.

Dubai ho­tels also im­pose a 10 per cent ser­vice charge and 10 per cent mu­nic­i­pal­ity fees per room per night, while Ras Al Khaimah ho­tels also charge a Dhs15 tourism fee per room per night and a 10 per cent ser­vice charge to fund vis­i­tor in­fra­struc­ture.

Mem­bers of the Girl Guides and Brown­ies have been hand­ing out food and gro­ceries to house­holds in Shar­jah. The Shar­jah Girl Guides (SGG) and Hu­man Ap­peal In­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­rated to dis­trib­ute food and goods as part of the Spread Hap­pi­ness theme ahead of Ra­madan. The dis­trib­uted ‘Al Mair Al Ra­madani’ pack­ages in­cluded a num­ber of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties, with food­stuffs in­clud­ing sugar, rice, tea, veg­etable oil, flower, and salt among other es­sen­tials.

LUXURY: Emi­rates Palace is Abu Dhabi

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