Dubai hotels edge up in March occupancy rate
Dubai, May 9, 2012
Dubai hotels posted a 3.9 per cent rise in occupancy March as against the same month of 2011, despite an increase of 5.8 per cent in the average room rate, said an industry expert.
“We should not forget that it has been achieved in an environment which has seen a significant addition to the total available rooms,” said Yousef Wahbeh, Mena head of Transaction Real Estate at Ernst & Young, commenting on a survey.
Dubai hotels have increased their efficiency and profitability levels as the RevPAR (revenue per available room) for March 2012 came in at 10.7 per cent higher than in the same month last year.
“These numbers represent milestones in the story of the growth of Dubai as a global tourism hub. It is unlikely that we will see monthly hospitality sector numbers decline this year and they are likely to form the basis of growth for the coming years,” Wahbeh said.
The fallout from regional developments like the Arab Spring has benefitted Dubai with inflows of capital and businesses. The Emirate has succeeded in solidifying its position as the best place in the region for business and leisure and it will reap the reward in the coming years.
Amman, Madinah and Hurghada in Egypt are the Mena hotel markets with the largest variance on a per month basis. With a 35 per cent jump, Amman leads the region in growth in occupancy levels over March 2011. Even though its average room rate dropped 0.5 per cent, the rooms yield grew 65.4 per cent.
This mix of results reinforces the belief that hotels are reaping the rewards of the influx of medical tourists from Libya and some other countries affected by the Arab spring and room rates are likely to rise in the near term, the survey said.
Madinah saw negligible growth in occupancy but rooms were 18.7 per cent more expensive and the rooms yield improved 20.3 per cent in March 2012 as compared to March 2011. The hotels there have optimized room rates to take full advantage of religious tourism even as they know that occupancy will remain flat till midsummer, according to the survey.
Hurghada experienced a surprisingly dramatic swing as its average rooms yield jumped 138.9 per cent even as room rate declined by 17.2 per cent. This may partly be explained by occupancy levels rising 41 per cent and partly by the fact that more tourists are venturing into Egypt, the survey noted. – TradeArabia News Service