Average Dubai hotel rates surpass 2008 peaks in May

New STR Global data shows ADR above $220 while RevPAR also rises 1.7% during last month

Average daily rates (ADR) at Dubai hotels rose 4.3 percent in May and are now above previous peaks of 2008, according to new data released by STR Global.

Its preliminary May data for Dubai indicated a rise in ADR to AED809.88 ($220.49), leading to a 1.7 percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to AED632.23.

The STR Global data also showed that the hotel supply chain in Dubai grew by 8.8 percent in May compared to a 6.1 percent rise in demand.

This led to a 2.5 percent decline in occupancy rates in May to 78.1 percent.

STR Global said hotels in the emirate are forecast to post an average three percent RevPAR increase for 2014.

"Demand remained strong for Dubai. However, supply growth continued to pick up for the fifth month in a row, leading to a decline in occupancy performance for May," said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

"Continued ADR growth pushed the metric above 2008 levels. Further rate growth is expected to drive positive RevPAR performance throughout 2014."

Last month, tourism chiefs in Dubai revealed their new target - to make the emirate the most visited city in the world.

One year into the delivery of Dubai's Tourism Vision for 2020, significant first steps have been taken to achieve the target of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, leading the tourism authority to set the new ambition.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said that if a growth rate similar to that achieved in 2013 is maintained - a 10.6 percent year-on-year increase equating to 11 million hotel guests - Dubai will overtake London, which currently attracts 16 million tourists annually.

In March, it was announced that Dubai’s hotels welcomed more than 11 million guests in 2013 – an increase of just over one million on the previous year.

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) data showed guest numbers across all hotel establishments (hotels and hotel apartments) between January and December reached 11.01 million compared to 9.96 million recorded in 2012.

Of this, Dubai’s top 10 hotel guest source markets were Saudi Arabia, India, UK, USA, Russia, Kuwait, Germany, Oman, Iran and China.

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