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March 25--Hotels in the UAE maintained their high performance level in February with Dubai recording the sharpest surge of 9.7 per cent in average daily rate to Dh1,053.

The average daily rate (ADR) across hotels in the UAE rose three per cent to Dh882.92 as occupancy level edged up by 0.5 per cent to 84.1 per cent and revenue per available room (RevPAR)- climbed 3.5 per cent to Dh742.25, according to data provided by STR Global. Hotels in Abu Dhabi posted a 22.9 per cent drop in ADR to Dh551.

The Middle East/Africa region reported positive performance results with a 1.3 per cent increase in occupancy to 67.4 per cent, a 2.7-per cent increase in average daily rate to $177.42 and a 4.0-per cent increase in revenue per available room to $119.55.

"The Middle East still is driving performance in the region," said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

"Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia are all posting both occupancy and ADR growth. Jordan and Bahrain are reporting the largest occupancy growth. Dubai is still reporting high occupancy; the new supply coming in is being absorbed and we are seeing double-digit rate growth," said Winkle. Three markets reported double-digit occupancy growth: Manama, Bahrain (+39.0 per cent to 63.2 per cent); Doha, Qatar (+13.9 per cent to 76.9 per cent); and Amman, Jordan (+10.2 per cent to 59.3 per cent).

Manama jumped 37.7 per cent in RevPAR to $120.11, experiencing the largest increase in that metric, followed by Amman with a 15.2-per cent increase to $97.16, STR data showed. In the backdrop of thriving tourism boom, Dubai's hotels welcomed more than 11 million guests in 2013 -- an increase of just over one million on the previous year.

The recent data by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) underscores the buoyancy of the hospitality industry that is on track achieve the emirate's ambitious goal of hosting 20 million visitors annually by 2020.

DTCM said the number of Dubai hotel rooms and apartments at the end of 2013 was 84,534 at 611 establishments, compared to 80,414 rooms at 599 establishments in 2012. There will be an additional 141 hotel establishments added to the market, including 99 hotels and 48 hotel apartments bringing the total to 751 hotel establishments and just under 114,000 rooms as per the current development pipeline for 2014-2016.

DTCM estimates that Dubai needed a total of between 140,000 to 160,000 rooms to provide accommodation for targeted visitor numbers for 2020.

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