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Middle East hotel rates top world in December, shows report

9 februari 2011

Middle East hotel rates top world in December, shows report

By Karen Leigh

    * Tuesday, 8 February 2011 5:17 PM

Middle East hotel rates continued to dominate the global market in December, with revenues per available room at $123 through the end of 2010, up 0.3 percent from 2009.

That figure bested $83 in Europe, $88 in the Asia Pacific region, and $58 in the Americas, showed data from companies Deloitte and STR Global.

The overall occupancy rate in MENA was at 61 percent for the year to date, an achievement considering the swell in available hotels and rooms – especially in the UAE, as Abu Dhabi built to accommodate new attractions including Yas Island, Formula 1 and concerts.

The region was not completely immune to global drop – MENA’s RevPAR, though still the world’s highest, was a drop of 4.4 percent from 2009.

In the Gulf, Dubai hotels saw capacity increase 3.3 percent to hit 71 percent for the year, with a 4.2 percent drop in RevPAR, to $154, as December saw the emirate host special events including the 3rd Dubai World Game Expo, WAO International Scientific Conference and the World Offshore Powerboat Championship.

Major events usually ensure that additional stock – idle on average days – is absorbed long enough to boost overall capacity.

Abu Dhabi trailed, with occupancy at 58.8 percent, compared to 68.3 percent during the corresponding period in 2009.

RevPAR in the city – which has been building new accommodations faster than its neighbor – was $117 during the year to date December 2010, compared to $197 during the corresponding period in 2009.

The Abu Dhabi International Motor Show 2010 and other events contributed to sustaining occupancies in the city despite a significant increase in available rooms.

Elsewhere in the GCC, Jeddah held firm, with occupancy of 68.4 percent, the same as the previous year. Hoteliers there hope to benefit in 2011 from steady, slow growth and modernization.

Muscat’s hotel occupancy stood at 55.8 percent, up 4.8 percent. RevPAR declined slightly by 2.4 percent to $137.

It was good news for a city which is seeking to become an upscale tourist haven, though many of the country’s luxury hotels are situated outside the city.