Dubai hotel rates peak in 3 years with Expo 2020 lift

Dubai’s hospitality industry recorded its highest monthly rates since 2018, boosted by the opening of Expo 2020.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai’s hospitality industry recorded its highest monthly rates since 2018, increased by the opening of Expo 2020, according to STR.

Hotel occupancy rates in October were almost 82 percent, with an average daily rate (ADR) of MAD 776. Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) – a performance measure used in the industry – during the month was Dh633.66.

“The market’s absolute ADR and RevPAR levels were the highest for every month since January 2018 and February 2018, respectively, while the occupancy level was the highest since January 2020,” STR said in a statement. communicated.

The Expo, which is expected to attract 25 million visitors over a 6-month period, has already registered around 3 million visits since it opened to the public on October 1.

Return from Europe

Travelers are flying back to Dubai from major European markets due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I don’t know how many people are coming just for the Expo, but they are coming and the Expo is a nice addition to have,” said Simon Allison, CEO of Hoftel, a global association for hotel property investors. .

“If you look at this market, a lot of people haven’t had a summer vacation this year – right now, if you’re in Europe and want some sun, it’s the Canary Islands or the GCC,” he said. Allison said.

Expenses management

During the pandemic, Dubai hotels became experts in cost management as they had to rely solely on the domestic stay market.

“It got to the point where hotels in this area could break even with an occupancy rate of 20-30% and now they’ve dramatically reduced the staffing model,” Allison said. “There is a risk of staff shortages and for hoteliers there is a risk of escalating costs, with managers increasing staff levels until they were in 2019”

Business trip

The return of events and conferences in the UAE shows that business travel is back in the small pockets. The Dubai Air Show – this year’s biggest aviation and aerospace event – as well as Abu Dhabi’s flagship oil conference, ADIPEC, will be held next week and thousands of attendees are expected.

Hoftel, which hosts this year’s Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit, will not see attendees from several countries, in part because of cuts to business travel budgets.

“Normally we’ll have people from Singapore, Australia, Kenya and Uganda – we won’t,” Allison said.

The hospitality industry veteran added that big conventions, which can’t be replaced by virtual calls, will come back much faster. “People are actually desperate to meet face to face in larger formats,” Allison said.

“What will suffer all the time are the small internal company meetings that force employees to take short flights to meet with their coworkers,” Allison said. “This is a part of the meetings market that will never come back. “

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