Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent
Visitors to Dubai can expect to pay US$337 a night at hotels as more luxury chains open in the emirate.
Average room rates rose nearly 10 per cent from January last year, when the average was $308 a night, to last January, according to data released on Wednesday by Ernst & Young (EY).
In the past year, brands such as the Conrad, the Anantara on the Palm and other gold-plated hotels have opened more than 2,780 four- and five-star rooms, and they are not the last in line. Next month Sofitel will launch in Downtown.
“January 2014 was a strong month for the Mena hospitality market,” said Yousef Wahbah, the regional head of EY’s transaction real estate. “The Mena hospitality sector is off to a strong start in 2014, and EY continues to predict robust growth through the remainder of the year.”
The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.
In Doha, where business travellers have flocked as their companies bid for work leading up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup, room rates increased to $243 in January from $220 the year before, and occupancy rates ticked up by 9 per cent to 70 per cent. Qatar’s airport recorded 18 per cent more visitors to 2.2 million.
The gains in the Arabian Gulf have come as unrest dampens appetite for other regional tourism destinations. Room rates in Beirut dropped to $167 a night from $173 a year before, and occupancy dropped 14 per cent.
Occupancy rates in all Egyptian cities dropped – with the exception of Hurghada on the Red Sea, where hotels managed to boost occupancy levels by 8 per cent after luring guests with nightly rates that were 31 per cent lower than before. In Cairo, the revenue per available room – a barometer in the industry of a hotel’s health – fell 34 per cent.
Updated: April 16, 2014 04:00 AM