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Mon 1 Mar 2010 01:06 PM

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Mideast hotels outdo rivals on 2009 performance

Mid East hotels netted highest occupancy, room rates and revPAR in the world last year.

Mideast hotels outdo rivals on 2009 performance
POSITIVE: Room occupancy in the region hit 61.3 percent for the year, while the average room rate stood at $202. (GETTY IMAGES)

Hotels in the Middle East netted the highest occupancy, room rates and revenue per available room (revPAR) in the world last year, data has revealed.

A worldwide review of hotel data by STR Global shows room occupancy in the region hit 61.3 percent for the year, while the average room rate stood at $202.

RevPAR, the industry’s measuring stick for fiscal health, hit $124, a whopping $44 higher than that seen in Europe, the next best performing region, putting Middle Eastern hotels at the top of global performance tables.

“Hoteliers in the Middle East continue to be global leaders, achieving levels of revPAR that other regions could only dream about,” said Alex Kyriadkidis of consulting firm Deloitte, which reviewed the data.

“The amount of new room supply that entered the Middle East last year intensified drops in occupancy, and put downward pressure on average room rates. However… the region now only lags behind Asia Pacific and Europe in terms of the recovery of demand.”

Beirut, the Lebanese capital, reported the biggest increase in revPAR globally for the second consecutive year, at $146 – a 62.1 percent increase on the year. Average room rates broke the $200 mark, to $205, while occupancy hit 70.9 percent.

“[It’s] a clear demonstration of the value that is created when a world-class…destination is combined with peace and stability,” said Robert O’Hanlon of Deloitte Middle East.

The Saudi city of Jeddah netted the region’s highest occupancy rate, at 71.1 percent, boosting average room rates by 11.4 percent to $176.

In Amman, rates were up by 12.1 percent to $147, triggering revPAR growth of 2.8 percent.

The UAE performed well, with Abu Dhabi securing the Middle East’s highest average room rates at $285, $50 higher than those seen in neighbouring Dubai. revPAR in the capital was also the highest in the region at $201, while occupancy levelled out at 70.6 percent.

Dubai reported revPAR of $163, down 31.4 percent on the previous year. Despite reporting the largest revPAR drop in the Middle East, the emirate retains the second highest rate in the region. Occupancy in Dubai was slightly lower than that seen in the capital, at 69.4 percent.

“This drop in hotel performance represents an adjustment rather than a crash,” said Deloitte’s Kyriadkidis. “Over the past few years, hotels in Dubai experienced fast and strong growth due to a supply shortage combined with increased interest in tourism in the burgeoning city. Now that supply is balancing with demand.

“Although the timing of the global economic crises exacerbated the decline last year, hotels in Dubai and across the UAE still achieved some of the strongest average room rates and revPAR globally.”

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