By David Thompson
Occupancy set to fall under 80% in Dubai as a result of global factors influencing the market
Dubai's hospitality market is expected to witness a fall in occupancy to under 80 percent over the festive period, as a result of a variety of global factors likely to result in a softening of the market, according to analysts.
Hotel industry watcher E-Forecasting expects December hotel occupancy levels across the UAE to fall to 79.5 percent from 82.3 percent in the same period last year.
“There has been a slowdown in economic activity in the major countries that feed Dubai’s hotels, which of course has a domino effect,” said E-Forecasting chief executive Maria Sogard.
The issue is compounded by global safety concerns, which have heightened in Europe, contributing to anxiety over travel to the Middle East.
“I think there will be a drop in occupancy over the Christmas period,” said TRI Hospitality Consulting managing director Peter Goddard.
“The low oil price is slowing the regional traffic, and the recent terror alerts combined with the migrant crisis in Europe have raised anxiety over travel. Dubai will see the main effects, but Abu Dhabi as a business centre will see a drop because of the holiday period.”
Abu Dhabi based Dusit Thani hotel marketing and communications manager Vivek Suri said the hotel anticipated a strong pick-up in business throughout the festive month on account of “double celebrations falling on December 24 and 25, both being public holidays. This coupled with the concurrent year-end school holidays further fosters our business prospects.”
The economies of the GCCs are traditionally a strong market for the holiday season, though they have been affected by declining oil prices recently, which fell to an 11-year low last week.