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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy climbs to 87.9 per cent in April

Events such as Culture Summit led to a rise in bookings for government officials, philanthropists and artists, EY report says

Events such as the Culture Summit led to a surge in Abu Dhabi's hotel occupancy rate in April. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Events such as the Culture Summit led to a surge in Abu Dhabi's hotel occupancy rate in April. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Abu Dhabi's hotel occupancy grew 4.7 per cent year-on-year to reach 87.9 per cent in April on the back of a rise in bookings related to conferences and exhibitions, according to the latest EY hotel sector survey.

The rate in neighbouring Dubai, however, slipped 3.4 percentage points year-on-year for the same period, but still remained among the highest in the broader Middle East and North Africa region, supported by real-estate events such as Dubai Property Festival and the International Property Show, EY said in its Mena Hotel Benchmark Survey, which was released on Thursday.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the capital remained flat at US$97 (Dh356) in April. Earlier this month, EY reported that the average room rate in the emirate fell by 14.7 per cent from $122 in the first quarter of 2017 to $104 over the same period this year.

In Dubai, it declined 13.3 per cent to reach $235 in April from $271 for the same period in 2017, according to the report, which attributed the slide to an increase in hotel supply and preferences for more affordable accommodation.

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The hospitality sector in the rest of the region remained lukewarm, with the decline in RevPAR recorded across internationally branded four- and five-star hotels in April.

Dubai's April performance comes in contrast to its overall performance for the first half of this year, where it registered the highest hotel occupancy rate in the region at 86.9 per cent, driven by local shopping festivals and temperate weather at the start of the year.

Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia also saw a slowdown in its hospitality sector, with the Makkah market seeing a significant decrease in RevPAR by 27.9 per cent to $69 in April from $95 during the same period in 2017. Egypt and Jordan, on the other hand, witnessed a pick-up in occupancy in April with the former jumping 8.3 percentage points to reach 77.3 per cent, and the latter growing by 8 per cent to reach $95.