By Andy Sambidge
Ernst and Young report present upbeat view on emirate's 'increasingly stable' tourism
Dubai hotels enjoyed a 17.3 percent rise in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in October while occupancy rates rose more than five percent, according to a new report by Ernst and Young.
Its Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey also showed that average room rates rose nearly 10 percent in October.
Yousef Wahbeh, MENA head of transaction real estate at Ernst & Young said the latest figures showed Dubai's tourism industry was "increasingly stable and growing".
Year to date, Dubai's occupancy rate rose to 79 percent while RevPAR increased by 12 percent and average room rates increased by 8.7 percent, he added.
"These numbers also show that the emirate is not only a key destination for tourists, but also a major business hub in the region," Wahbeh said.
"The cooler months in the UAE and increased political stability in the region are setting up for a prosperous winter season. Thus far, the peak season is off to a strong start, and we predict this to continue throughout the coming months," he added.
Ernst and Young's report also showed that Saudi Arabia saw strong increases in occupancy rates, with Madinah rising by three percent year-to-date, and Makkah increasing by five percent year-to-date.
Compared to October 2011, the occupancy rate of Makkah increased significantly by 30 percent in October due to the Hajj season, with Muslims travelling to the city from all over the world.
The report also said hotels in Amman saw overall occupancy rates increase by 18 percent year-to-date.
"This significant increase can be attributed to increased political stability, with tourists viewing the city as a safer travel destination," said Wahbeh.
Strong increases were also seen throughout Egypt where occupancy rates were up seven percent in Cairo so far this year and by 12 percent in Sharm El Shaikh.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.