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Thu 7 Feb 2008 06:22 PM

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Bumper year for Middle East hoteliers

Results from Deloitte's HotelBenchmark Survey show most markets across the region enjoyed double digit growth.

Middle East-based hoteliers recorded a bumper year in 2007, with all but one market recording double-digit growth in Deloitte's HotelBenchmark Survey.

Reduced room supply and increased tourism saw Muscat hoteliers leading the charge, recording a whopping 52.8% increase in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) to $152. Occupancy levels were up 6.1% to 70.6%, and average room rates soared 44% to crack the $200 barrier, finishing on $216.

Other strong performers in terms of RevPAR growth were Riyadh - up 33.6% to $164 - and Cairo, up 22.4% to $85.

The only market to record a downturn was Doha, which recorded lower figures than 2006 - where figures were inflated by hosting the Asian Games.

In this context, the Qatari capital recorded a RevPAR drop of 11.8% to $158, with drops of 7.4% and 4.8% in average occupancy and room rate levels respectively.

As always, Dubai hoteliers managed to reap the biggest regional rewards. The emirate recorded the highest occupancy (up 1.2% to 84.2%), room rate (up 16% to $282) and RevPAR ($237) of the markets measured in the region.

With plenty of increased room supply expected to come online this year and onwards to 2009, it will be interesting to see if the growth rates are sustainable.

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