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Tue 22 May 2007 05:11 PM

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Oman’s capital growth boom

February's figures from the HotelBenchmark Survey show the industry continuing to grow in leaps and bounds, with Muscat leading the pack with a whopping 50.2% RevPAR growth.

Hoteliers in Oman's capital have enjoyed a robust start to the year, backing up January's strong growth to post a healthy RevPAR result of US $204 in February - an increase of 50.2% on the same period last year.

The result was also well up on January 2007's result of $146, a jump in value of $58 for the month-on-month comparison.

Muscat's performance was driven by a strong 35.1% growth in average room rate to $224 compared with February 2006, falling only behind Dubai and Doha for actual value with the cities posting results of $316 and $247 respectively.

Dubai also lead the way in February 2007 in actual value for RevPAR, at $291, a 17.9% increase on last year's figure.

The other strong performer in average room rate growth was Riyadh, which recorded the best increase of 37.7% above last year's February results to $210.

This figure masked the 1.3% drop in occupancy to 86.3% - the only drop in occupancy recorded for any city in February's results.The strongest performers in the occupancy category were Amman and Muscat, which recorded growth of 11.1% to 58.1% and 11.2% to 91.2% respectively.

Muscat's occupancy results put it second only to Dubai - on 92.3% - in this category.

Hoteliers in Muscat also enjoyed positive figures in their year-to-date RevPAR figures, up 33.7% to $172, the third highest growth rate in this category.

The two leaders in this respect were Amman and Riyadh. Amman recorded growth of 27.5% to $59, driven by steady growth in the occupancy and average room rate results. However Riyadh's RevPAR result of $152 put it at the top of the list for RevPAR growth rates at 45.6%, largely supported by a growth in the average room rate of 34.3% to $200.

Cairo recorded the lowest growth rate for the region in the year-to-date RevPAR figures, with an 8.9% increase above last year's result to $79.

While the Egyptian city posted double digit growth in average room rate to post $104, occupancy dropped by 1.3% compared with the same period last year to 76.7%.

Doha recorded the lowest growth in the year-to-date average room rates with a 2.1% increase to $236, while Dubai's year-to-date occupancy is nudging the 90% mark, up 4% on last year's results for the same period to finish at 89%.

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