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Sun 18 Mar 2012 12:27 PM

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Oman's hotels most expensive in world - report

Room rates in the Gulf state soared while prices in other MidEast countries dipped

Oman's hotels most expensive in world - report
Oman has the most expensive hotels in the world for UK travellers (image for illustrative purposes only).

Oman has
been ranked the most expensive country in the world for UK travellers in 2011,
according to the latest Hotels Price Index (HPI) by booking agency Hotels.com

Average room rates
in the Gulf state rose by19 percent from GBP£182 (US$288) per night in 2010 to £217 last
year, soaring past the second-priciest destination Mauritius, where average rates were
GBP£161.

Muscat,
Oman’s capital city, also witnessed a surge in room costs from GBP£185 per night
in 2010 to GBP£219 in 2011, making it the most expensive city in the world for
hotel accommodation after the European hotspot Monte Carlo.

“Oman
became the most expensive country after it posted the biggest increase in
prices,” said the report.

“This
occurred after the development of more upscale accommodation and rising demand
from European travellers.”

However,
the cost of hotels around the region saw a substantial dip in 2011, thanks
mostly to the Arab uprisings which broke out at the beginning of the year, the
report said.

The
steepest drop came in Qatar, where the average room rate fell 27 percent from
GBP£169 to GBP£122, whilst in Egypt's rates slipped 22 percent to GBP£71 and in Lebanon
prices declined 21 percent to GBP£111.

Tunisia, the
place where the protests first began, saw a 9 percent reduction to GBP£61, and in
Saudi Arabia, falls of 8 percent to GBP£113 were recorded.

The UAE saw
a minimal price decline of 2 percent to GBP£116, but this was mostly due the large
number of hotel projects under construction in the region, according to
researchers.

“The
biggest fallers were in the Middle East, where the widespread political
instability, civil unrest and the war in Libya led to a dramatic fall off in
demand and a slump in prices,” added the report.

“Travellers
switched away from North Africa and the Middle East to ‘safer’ holiday
destinations.”

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