Bahrain tops MidEast hotel occupancy growth in May

Analysis also shows Kuwaiti hotel rooms are the most expensive, while Saudi, UAE lead global development pipeline
By Courtney Trenwith
Sun 22 Jun 2014 01:50 PM

Hotel occupancy in Bahrain is growing at the fastest rate in the region, although it still remains at only 57 percent, according to hotel analysts STR Global.

Occupancy in the island kingdom rose 27.8 percent in May, while the capital Manama saw a nearly 30 percent increase to 56.9 percent.

That compares to occupancy levels over 80 percent in the UAE and an average of 70.2 percent in the Middle East.

Doha, Qatar, had the second best improvement with a 13 percent increase to 75.8 percent occupancy, STR Global said.

Kuwaiti hotel room prices continued to skyrocket compared to the rest of the region, with the average daily rate rising 12.8 percent in May to KWD72.18 ($255), well above the Middle East average of $182.76.

Average room prices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, fell 6.1 percent to $241.65, the largest decrease.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia continue to be the fastest growing markets globally, representing a significant proportion of the region’s new hotels.

“The Middle East has the fastest growing pipeline in the world, with 99,199 rooms under contract as of May”, STR Global managing director Elizabeth Winkle said.

“The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have emerged with two of the most robust pipelines in the Middle East, as these two countries combined make up 70 percent of the rooms in the region’s pipeline.”

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