Dubai hotel occupancy rate increases in June as regional travel resumes

Dubai hotels saw higher occupancy rates in June, boosted by Eid stays, a pickup in regional travel and hoteliers slashing prices to attract customers during the summer season.

The average occupancy rate rose to 61.9% in June, jumping 139% from the same month in 2020, when the United Arab Emirates closed its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to the specialist in STR hotel data and analysis. June’s performance was also an increase from occupancy rates of 58.5% in May and 59.4% in April.

“The improvement in hotel occupancy rates in June likely reflects that Dubai is attracting an increasing number of tourists from neighboring countries ahead of any further restrictions this month, as well as stays for the Eid holidays,” said Shady Elborno, head of macro strategy at Emirates NBD Research, said in a report on the tourism sector on Wednesday.

Dubai hotel revenue per available room (RevPar) in June – a key performance metric calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily rate by its occupancy rate – fell 17% from one month at the other, hoteliers slashing prices to attract customers during the hot summer months, according to the report. However, RevPAR increased nearly 250% year over year after the removal of travel restrictions to the UAE.

The biggest obstacle to the recovery of the tourism sector is the restrictions imposed by other countries on their residents traveling to the United Arab Emirates, according to the travel sector outlook of Dubai’s biggest lender.

The continued travel restrictions on flights from India that were put in place on April 25, 2021, in response to the increase in coronavirus cases there, have had an impact on the travel industry and the Dubai’s hospitality industry, as India is the largest source market for international visitors to Dubai, Elborno said in the report.

“The situation of travel restrictions from neighboring countries and other countries continues to be very dynamic, with dates often changing over short periods of time as the UAE and other countries continually make decisions regarding their assessment. of travel risk conditions, ”Elborno said.

Before the pandemic, Gulf countries accounted for 18% of international visitors to Dubai. Saudi Arabia was the second largest source market after India.

“The easing of these restrictions, especially from Saudi Arabia, in May and June would have improved this momentum; however, the situation remains in motion as demonstrated by the new restrictions reimposed by Saudi Arabia in July,” indicates the report.

While the UK’s decision to keep the Emirates on its Red List may deter UK holidaymakers from traveling to Dubai, despite high vaccination rates in the UAE, quarantine requirements in most countries in the EU for the country are easing, according to the report.

Vaccinated UAE travelers can now travel to many EU destinations and visits by EU citizens to the UAE are subject to fewer restrictions, he said.

“Dubai’s tourism sector is gradually moving towards standardization, as world travel gradually picks up and the technical details of vaccination and health passports become more streamlined,” Elborno said.

“However, this global travel situation remains dependent on the national coronavirus situation in many countries, as well as the speed at which vaccines are being deployed.”

The International Monetary Fund kept its global economic forecast at 6%, but lowered its growth outlook for emerging markets and developing economies due to uneven access to vaccines and the emergence of Covid-19 variants that hamper the shape of the recovery.

Updated: July 29, 2021, 4:41 a.m.

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