By Andy Sambidge
New data also shows improve performance for hotels in Jeddah and Doha in first half of 2014
Abu Dhabi's hotel market continued to register strong top-line performance which elevated profitability levels in the first six months of 2014, according to the latest HotStats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting Middle East.
Increasing demand raised occupancy levels by 4.9 percent to 78.2 percent and drove revenue per available room (RevPAR) up by 6.8 percent, the survey said.
It added that average room rates (ARR) remained stable in the first half of 2014.
In June, ARR and occupancy increased by 4.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, prompting RevPAR to rise 11.4 percent to $85.25. Higher contribution of non-rooms revenues, particularly from conferencing activities, boosted total revenue per available room (RevPAR) by nine percent to $200.96 and pushed the bottom-line profits up 31.3 percent to $31.39 during the month.
Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality Consulting in Dubai, said: "Occupancy growth allowed hoteliers to maintain steady average rates during the first six months of the year, as the market showed signs of stabilisation.
"ARR have increased for four consecutive months while occupancies have seen a consistent upward trend for nearly two years. Demand growth within the hotel market coincided with the strong performance of Etihad Airlines during the period, as the national carrier saw passengers rise by 22 percent from the previous year."
The survey showed Jeddah hotels saw average room rates surge 15.5 percent to $305.92 in June, reaching the highest level among MENA hotels surveyed by HotStats.
Despite occupancies declining 3.1 percent to 82.3 percent, ARR drove RevPAR growth of 11.3 percent to $251.71.
High corporate and MICE demand caused double-digit growth in F&B and conferencing revenues, which elevated TRevPAR levels to $386.95. Payroll costs and operating expenses fell 1.6 percent and two percent respectively, further growing the bottom-line performance, as gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) rose by 18 percent to $204.44.
Goddard added: "Hotels in Jeddah historically record strong revenues in June, however, performance was particularly robust this year, as corporate and conferencing segments drove double-digit growth in average rates, with the two segments contributing to 56 percent of demand for the city's hotels."
The survey said Doha experienced an 11.4 percent growth in occupancy to 75.9 percent in the first six months of the year, pushing RevPAR up by 11.5 percent to $166.66 despite ARR declining 5.3 percent.
Elevated by the top-line performance, efficient operating cost control coupled with a 1.5 percent reduction in payroll expenses boosted GOPPAR by 19.1 percent to $166.74.
"Doha hotels are yet to show signs of stabilisation in average room rates during the first half of the year, although occupancy levels continue to grow on the back of increased demand from international and regional visitors, particularly, Saudi nationals," said Goddard.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.