Gulf tourism markets post strong start to 2014

Doha, Abu Dhabi report big jump in occupancy while average daily rates in Dubai rise 12.8%
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 23 Feb 2014 02:02 PM

Gulf tourism markets kicked off 2014 with strong growth in January as Doha and Abu Dhabi posted big occupancy increases while hotel rates in Dubai showed double digit rises, according to new data from STR Global.

Doha hotels registered a 17.1 percent jump in occupancy to 75.1 percent in January while Abu Dhabi hotels posted a 12.8 percent increase to 73.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi also saw strong growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) with a 15.6 percent rise to $112.97 last month.

STR Global figures also showed that the Dubai tourism market achieved the only double-digit average daily rates (ADR) growth in the Middle East and Africa region, rising 12.8 percent to $308.64.

“The total region started 2014 off well," said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

“All three key performance metrics were positive, driven by performance in the Middle East. Oman and Saudi Arabia showed positive occupancy, while the United Arab Emirates continued to report positive rate growth.

"There is still instability in the region, but overall there are signs of improvement. Jordan is now showing some performance growth."

STR Global said the Middle East/Africa region reported positive performance results during January.

The region reported a 3.3 percent increase in occupancy to 62 percent, a 4.8 percent increase in average daily rate to $187.15 and an 8.2 percent increase in revenue per available room to $115.96.

The figures showed that in the UAE, occupancy rose to 82.4 percent, up 1.7 percent on the year-earlier period, ADR increased 8.9 percent, and RevPAR was up 10.7 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, hotels reported a 14.7 percent increase in occupancy to 70.5 percent while ADR rose 6.2 percent and RevPAR by 7.6 percent.

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