Charge per night to fund tourism infrastructure
Guides give a helping hand
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