Riyadh, Doha hotels shine during November

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Hotel operators in Riyadh bucked a major slump in occupancy and revenues experienced in the rest of Saudi Arabia in November, according to latest industry data.

New figures released by STR Global showed that hotels in the Gulf kingdom suffered double-digit declines in occupancy, average daily rates (ADR) and Revenue per available room (RevPAR).

It said occupancy in Saudi hotels stood at 51.6 percent last month, a 13.7 percent fall on the same month last year.

ADR fell 26.1 percent while RevPAR dropped by more than a third (36.1 percent) compared to the year-earlier period.

However, STR Global data revealed that hotels in Riyadh stood apart from this performance as occupancy rates rose 29.4 percent to 62.7 percent.

The figures also showed that Riyadh hotels experienced a 32.5 percent uplift in RevPAR in November.

STR Global statistics also highlighted the strong performance of hotels in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

In November, the city posted the largest ADR increase in the Middle East and Africa, rising 6.5 percent to $239.34.

Hotels in Doha also reported a double digit increase (15 percent) in RevPAR last month, up to $167.45.

The Middle East/Africa region reported mixed hotel performance results in November, STR Global said.

The region’s occupancy increased 0.9 percent to 65.9 percent during the month, its ADR fell 6.2 percent to $172.82 and RevPAR decreased 5.4 percent to $113.89.

“Cairo continued to pick up again in performance as demand for hotel rooms increased 37.4 percent for November and 23.7 percent year to November,” said Elizabeth Randall Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

“Occupancy for November was the highest so far this year with 53.9 percent — obviously still behind its November 2008 peak of more than 80 percent occupancy.

“Beirut, in contrast, reported the lowest occupancy (35.1 percent) for a month since May 2008”, Winkle added. “The ongoing Syrian conflict, the October bombing in Beirut itself and heightened travel advisories have contributed to the decreased demand to the city."

STR Global data also showed that hotels in the UAE posted mixed results in November. Occupancy rates in Abu Dhabi and Dubai averaged 82.4 percent, up 0.5 percent, while ADR fell 1.1 percent and RevPAR declined 0.6 percent compared to November 2011.

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