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Sun 3 May 2009 07:21 AM

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Beach hotel rates fall amid global slowdown

Premiums charged by hotels located along Dubai's coastline decline - new report.

Top hotels located on Dubai's Jumeirah Beach have been forced to cut their rates to maintain high occupancy rates, according to a new report.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the leading beach hotels fell to about AED500 ($136.12) more than other hotels in the city in March, compared with more than double that in the same month last year, according to data from STR Global.

The sample of hotels in the Jumeirah Beach area was made up of 22 resort properties which were compared with 82 others, elsewhere in Dubai, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.

In the past, Jumeirah Beach hotels had managed to avoid discounting because of the popularity of the area but the report said this difference had fallen dramatically to levels last seen in 2004, the paper added.

“What that is illustrating is that the beach hotels clearly are more dependent on the leisure markets and heavily dependent on northern Europe,” said Arthur de Haast, the global chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, a property consultancy, in comments made to the paper.

He said that occupancy rates were still high at the beach hotels, but those levels had been maintained at the expense of their premiums.

Jumeirah Hotels said its occupancy rates in March for its beach hotels in Dubai, which include the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, were 90 percent. But the hotels had lowered room rates to attract visitors, it said.

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