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Dubai hotels keep top slot


Dubai’s hospitality industry continues to boom, despite fears that Dubai’s hotels are becoming too expensive and that too many five-star hotels are being built.

The average hotel room occupancy levels for the month of December 2005 was 91.5 per cent, up from 85.1 per cent compared with the corresponding month in 2004, according to figures released by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Dubai also has the world’s highest revenue per available hotel room (RevPar), according to another report.

The DTCM figures show that during the last three quarters of 2005 Dubai’s hotels recorded an occupancy rate of 86 per cent. This puts Dubai at the top of the world league for hotel occupancy, followed by New York with 83 per cent and Singapore at 80 per cent.

In Dubai, the average beach hotels occupancy was 96 per cent for December as against 88 per cent in December 2004. For five-star hotels, the average occupancy level for December 2005 was 95 per cent as against 89 per cent for December 2004.

In the four-star category, the December 2005 average occupancy rate was 96 per cent, up from 90 per cent in December 2004. Three-star hotels too maintained the robust growth in occupancy rates, enjoying an average rate of 95 per cent in December 2005, a significant increase of 88.5 per cent for the previous December.

Dubai’s hotels and hotel apartments have also been ranked the first in the world in terms of generating the highest RevPar between January and September 2005, according to Global Lodging Review, a publication by Deloitte and Smith Travel Research.

Each room generates $175.47. Dubai is followed by New York and Paris, with a hotel room in each of these cities generating $163.32 and $169.53 respectively. Dubai’s hotels have shown a 43 per cent increase in average hotel daily room rates between September 2004 and September 2005.

Commenting on Dubai’s success, DTCM manager media relations, Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman said: “These numbers confirm that Dubai continues its impressive growth trends well into the year 2006. The aggressive promotional and marketing agenda of the department had been helping the Dubai hospitality industry further and post impressive results.”

Dubai presently has 393 hotels and hotel apartments with a total room capacity of 35,396, an increase of six per cent from 2004. And according to recent research from HVS International, another 18,000 to 20,000 hotel rooms are forecast to enter the market by 2010.

The report also states that over the last decade, hotel supply and demand in Dubai has grown at a compound average rate of approximately seven to 10 per cent, respectively “which clearly reflects the ability of the market to absorb any new level of supply.” It also notes that: “Dubai has a stronger economic base than most other hotel market destinations in the Middle East, and the emirate benefits from having possibly the best infrastructure in the region. This might in turn reduce the negative impact of the new supply.”

Moreover, the HVS report illustrates that the total number of room nights in Dubai is almost perfectly correlated to the public capital investment. Tourism-related public expenditure is expected to double by 2014. And travel and tourism is expected to contribute approximately 10.5 per cent of Dubai’s economic wealth in 2005 compared with 10 per cent in 2004.

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