Dubai hotels see surge from volcano flight chaos

Hotels say stranded tourists have filled gap left by those not able to make flights to Dubai.
Dubai hotels see surge from volcano flight chaos
STRANDED: Tourists extending their stay in Dubai has boosted business for the emirates hotels. (Getty Images)
By Shane McGinley
Mon 19 Apr 2010 07:16 AM

Hotels in the UAE have seen a surge in occupancy levels as passengers and visitors have been left stranded in the Emirates as a result of the cloud of Icelandic volcanic ash which has caused the cancellation of flights into many parts of Europe.

Hotels closest to Dubai airport have seen immediate increase in business. The Renaissance Dubai Hotel in Deira has seen a 25 percent jump in occupancy and a spokesperson said affected guests have extended their stay by an average of two to three nights.

The Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai told Arabian Business that it started the month on 87 percent occupancy, but it has now been completely full for the last four days.

This was echoed by Naeem Darkazally, area director of sales and marketing for the Rotana Dubai and Northern Emirates, who said occupancy rates in their hotels have risen by an average of ten percent.

“This increase has covered the gap from the bookings which was cancelled by guests who have not been able to make their flights to Dubai,” added Darkazally.

All flights from the Gulf to the UK have been cancelled on Monday with most services to mainland Europe also suspended, the fifth day that routes have been affected.

The cancellation of flights has also seen tourists holidaying in the emirates forced to extend their stay. A spokesperson from the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates said “this situation has brought us some extra business due to the fact that people could not fly out and they needed a place to stay. They have extended their stay two to three nights.”

Gavin Maloney, complex director of sales and marketing for the Westin Dubai and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina hotels said their properties had not seen any increase as they were already running at 100 percent occupancy.

However, he added that “after the airports are reopened we might see a drop in bookings as travellers remain at home, concerned about not being able to return at the end of their stay.”

The Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City said it had also been running at high occupancy, but it has offered a special promotion for those left stranded at the airport. The hotel’s spa is offering a 50 percent discount on all treatments to any passengers in possession of a cancelled flight ticket dated between April 16 and 20.

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