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Beirut and Cairo record the best MENA hotel growth, while the UAE sees mixed results

Dec 28

The hospitality sectors in Beirut and Cairo saw the best growth figures in the Middle East and North Africa during the month of October, while increased competition in Dubai forced operators to reduce their rates in order to maintain occupancy levels, according to the latest hotel industry figures published this week.

“Beirut had the highest increase in occupancy, with 13.5 percentage points when compared to the same period last year. The significant increase in occupancy may be attributed to the lifting of travel bans and favourable climate conditions attracting visitors,” Yousef Wahbah, Middle East and North Africa real estate, hospitality and construction sector leader at consultancy firm Ernst and Young, was quoted as saying in a press statement on Sunday.

“Furthermore, Cairo witnessed the highest increase of 87.8 percent in average room rate (ADR) and 127.6 percent in RevPAR (revenue per available room) during October 2017 when compared to the same month last year,” he said, adding that this was the highest increase in ADR and RevPAR in the region.

The latest figures, published in the October 2017 MENA Hotel Benchmark Survey Report, showed that in the United Arab Emirates operators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi had different experiences during the survey month.

In Abu Dhabi average hotel occupancy rates increased by 8.9 percentage points, with ADR rising from $125 in October 2016 to $128 in October 2017. This resulted in a 14.1 percent increase in RevPAR, with the report attributing the growth to the start of the Abu Dhabi cruise season, which runs from October to May, and Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the 44th World Skills Competition.

By contrast, in Dubai average occupancy was down by 2.4 percentage points in October 2017. ADR was down by 6 percent, meaning RevPAR was also down by 8.7 percent from $236 in October 2016 to $215 in October 2017.

“The increased number of hotels in Dubai has made for a competitive market space, leading to hotels looking to maintain occupancy levels by lowering their ADRs,” the report said.

That said, Dubai still has one of the highest average occupancy rates in the MENA region, at 79.6 percent and the highest RevPAR at $215.