By Staff writer
Cairo, Beirut and Doha were the most improved, while Dubai beach hotels continued to dominate the list of the biggest performers
Cairo, Beirut and Doha were the most improved markets during the first quarter of 2015, despite ongoing political issues and a drop in oil prices, according to data from Ernst and Young’s latest Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey Report.
“In the MENA region, Cairo, Beirut and Doha’s hospitality markets in particular witnessed robust growth in Q1 2015. This demonstrates continued political stability in the region and greater confidence amongst tourists of the current security situation. Q1 is also typically peak tourism season for the region due to milder weather. The hospitality sectors in these markets consequently witnessed an increase in conferences and events during this period,” said Yousef Wahbah, partner and head of MENA Transaction Real Estate at Ernst and Young.
Cairo led the region in hospitality performance, with its revenue per available room (RevPAR) increasing by an impressive 106.6 percent, due to the fact it topped the tables for the most improved terms of occupancy, average room rate and room yield.
This increase could be credited to the growing political stability as well as the recent uptick in the economic activity of the country, E&Y said.
Following Cairo, Beirut witnessed a 46.5 percent increase in RevPAR, while the best performing in the Gulf was Doha, with its average RevPAR increasing by 22.2 percent.
In terms of actual earnings, Dubai beach hotels topped the tables across all three parameters.
Dubai beach hotels had an average occupancy rate of 86 percent. The average room rate was $448, nearly double the average across the cities surveyed. Average room yields were $387, more than double the average across the surveyed cities, which was $170.
Despite topping the rankings, Dubai in general witnessed a decrease in RevPAR by 12.5 percent in April 2014 when compared to April 2015, and E&Y said the softer performance was due to hotels dropping room rates in order to maintain their occupancy levels.
The market is likely to be further impacted by a decrease in travel from Russia and Europe, given the weaker Ruble and Euro. This should be offset by an increase in travel from emerging markets such as India and China, which are benefiting from sustained lower oil prices and increased purchasing power.
“Overall, the growth in the number of visitors to the region is expected to keep pace with hotel room supply. This is due to a number of factors, including an increasing demand for enhanced medical tourism, theme parks, retail outlets and current preparations that are underway for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Dubai Expo 2020,” comments Wahbah.
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.
Glad to hear the positive news of Beirut Hospitalty Industry after long time although it is still far below potential of Lebanon Tourisum offering. Hope to see years like 2004 and 2009 coming back soon in Lebanon.