Dubai hotel guests up 5pc in H1 on discounts
Dubai, August 12, 2009
Dubai hotels saw a 5 per cent increase in the number of guests during the first half of 2009, official data showed on Tuesday, after they cut prices and launched promotions.
An industry report said last month that Dubai hotels were the hardest hit in revenue terms in the Middle East during the first half of the year as a global financial crisis bit into the spending power of many travellers.
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said in a statement that hotels and hotel apartments in the Gulf's tourism hub received 3.85 million guests in the first half of the year, up 5 per cent from the same period last year.
Newspapers have said the department asked hotels to offer discounts on room rates ranging from 40 percent to 60 percent from mid-January. A DTCM spokesman confirmed there had been discounts without giving details.
US hospitality research firm STR Global and Deloitte & Touche Middle East said in their report in July that Dubai hotels saw the biggest falls in revenue in the Middle East region in the first half of 2009.
The report showed occupancy rates in Dubai, also the region's trade centre, fell 12.9 percent from a year earlier, while revenue per available room (RevPar), an industry benchmark, plunged 35 percent.
Five-star beach hotels saw average occupancy rates of 90 percent in the first week of August, the DTMC statement added. These hotels are among the emirate's main attractions for tourists from Europe and Russia.
The number of guests from the Gulf region increased 35 percent in the month of July from a year earlier, with more than 64,000 people staying in five, four and three star hotels.
"The department ... carried out ... media campaigns in various markets, especially in Dubai's traditionally strong source markets of the UK, Germany, India, Russia, China, Japan and GCC states," the statement said.
At the end of the first half of 2009, Dubai had more than 58,000 hotel rooms and hotel apartments, a 17 percent increase over the same period last year, according to DTCM figures. -Reuters