x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Capital second on most expensive list

It doesn't just feel like it's getting more expensive in the capital, an international survey says it really is.

Abu Dhabi is the second-most expensive city in the world for business travellers, overtaking New York and Paris, an annual survey has found. Dubai slipped out of the top 10 to 16th as rates fell due to a slew of hotels opening for business in the emirate. Moscow is the most expensive destination worldwide for the fifth consecutive year, despite a 5 per cent fall in average room rates, the 2009 hotel survey by Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) showed.

A traveller to Moscow could expect to pay £266.56 (Dh1,532) for a room, while in Abu Dhabi the average room rate is £223.35. Manama, the capital of Bahrain, rose to fifth place from 20th the previous year, "reflecting demand outstripping supply in the region", said HRG, a corporate travel company. "Abu Dhabi is the second-most expensive city surveyed, having moved into the top 10 at fifth position in 2008, emphasising the lack of supply there." Abu Dhabi's room supply rose sharply at the end of last year as the capital opened several hotels in time for the Formula One Grand Prix. The capital increased its room supply by 36 per cent last year, putting severe pressure on room rates and occupancy levels.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) announced last month it would be unlikely to cap room rates this year. "ADTA expects demand and supply conditions to change throughout the course of 2010, and this will lead to further reductions in room rates," said Nasser al Reyami, the director of tourism standards at the ADTA. "[This] makes the need for rate caps virtually redundant." Another 5,000 rooms are expected to open this year, the ADTA said.

rbundhun@thenational.ae