x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Revenues fall for Middle East hotels

Middle East hotel room revenues fell even more steeply last month, as Dubai's negative performance continued to weigh on the region.

Middle East hotel room revenues fell even more steeply last month, as Dubai's negative performance continued to weigh on the region, according to data. But Beirut proved to be one of the exceptions, achieving growth of more than 150 per cent. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the region declined 18.4 per cent to US$149.23 (Dh548.12) last month, from $182.93 in April last year, figures from STR Global show. Occupancy rates for the region, meanwhile, fell to 68.9 per cent from 76.8 per cent."The region has been affected due to declines in occupancies and RevPARs in key markets such as Dubai," said Rob O'Hanlon, a partner at Deloitte Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure. Mr O'Hanlon added that the drop seen in Dubai was partly due to an increase in supply, as well as a decline in demand from feeder markets. In Dubai, RevPAR declined 29.8 per cent last month compared with the same period last year, to $205.06 from $291.96 because of falling occupancy levels and room rates. In the first four months of the year, hotels in the Middle East have experienced a 14.9 per cent decline in RevPAR compared with the same period last year, figures show. "It is getting harder to find a positive angle in the Middle East," said James Chappell, the managing director of STR Global. "The region, which had been insulated somewhat from the effects of the global economic recession in the past, now seems just as susceptible." Beirut managed 152.5 per cent growth in RevPAR last month, rising to $136.30, while occupancy levels increased from about 43 per cent to 78.5 per cent. "Beirut is experiencing a significant inflow of visitors to the area as a result of the return to stability," said Mr O'Hanlon. In Saudi Arabia, Jeddah's hotels also recorded a positive performance, with RevPAR increasing 23.3 per cent last month to $176.53. Data from STR Global issued on Wednesday showed that Abu Dhabi, which had positive RevPAR growth in the first quarter of this year, suffered its first negative performance for more than a year last month. In the capital, RevPAR fell 7 per cent to $249.43 from $267.90 last year, while occupancy levels fell from 88 per cent to 80.3 per cent last month. But average room rates in Abu Dhabi were up 2 per cent to $310.56. rbundhun@thenational.ae