Dubai hotel occupancy hits nearly 90% in January

March 5, 2013 9:24 am

The firm’s Hotstat’s survey, which analyses data across 220 four and five-star properties in the Mena region, found that occupancy rates in Dubai reached an average of 89.6% in January, representing an increase of 4.2 percentage points compared to a year ago.

Average room rates in the emirate also rose 5% to $359.39, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) climbed 10.2% to $321.85. TRI credited the rise to the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, which lures regional and international visitors who are seeking retail bargains.

“The DSF has got better and better every year, and this time is no exception,” said Peter Goddard, managing director at TRI Hospitality Consulting. “This mega-event offers a perfect start to the year for the tourism establishments in the city, and helps bridge the gap between the end of year holidays and European winter breaks.”

Properties in nearby Abu Dhabi also benefitted from the overflow of demand from the shopping festival, TRI said, as hotels registered a 10.8 percentage point increase in occupancy to 71.7% during January. However, average room rates continued to fall in the emirate, dropping 10.7% in January to $167.77, dragging RevPAR down by 5.3% to $113.05.

“Despite stronger demand, hotels in the capital have failed to capitalise on these events to improve top line performances, simply due to the competition,” Goddard added.

Elsewhere in the region, hotels in Egypt experienced strong recovery in demand, revenues and profits during the month of January. Popular resort town Sharm El Sheikh saw occupancy increase 9.3 percentage points to 57.2% and room rates rise 9.8% to $49.11, boosting RevPAR up by 31.1% to $28.10. In Cairo, occupancy improved 5.9 percentage points to 43.7%, while RevPar jumped 20.7% to $48.41.

“International tourists are benefiting from reduced rates and bargain packages on offer in both Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh. As the Egyptian pound continues to weaken, destinations within the country have become affordable to international holiday seekers strengthening demand and allowing hotel operators to register higher profit margins,” Goddard said.