UAE's Rotana says optimistic about tourism prospects

Rotana acting CEO says the region's hospitality sector is on the 'tip of a tremendous transformation'
UAE's Rotana says optimistic about tourism prospects
Rotana plans to open nine new properties to bring its inventory of operational keys to 21,135 by 2020.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 13 Mar 2019 02:56 PM

UAE-based hotel operator Rotana has announced that its properties across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Turkey reported positive results in the first two months of 2019.

During the January-February period, Rotana hotels in Abu Dhabi delivered stronger growth compared to properties in other emirates and recorded a 3.5 percent growth in occupancy, 2.3 percent increase in average daily rates (ADR) and 5.9 percent rise in revenue per available room (RevPAR).

The company also revealed that its properties in Beirut and Riyadh posted 17 percent and 15 percent rise in occupancy and 29 percent and 48 percent surge in RevPAR respectively compared to the same period in 2018.

Similarly, ADR and RevPAR soared 24.8 percent and 9.8 percent in the company’s resort in Sharm El Sheikh, while Manama saw a 5 percent rise in occupancy rates.

Rotana also said that room nights coming from Saudi Arabia, increased by 15 percent in the first two months of this year. In 2018, the UAE, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and India topped the list of leading feeder markets.

Guy Hutchinson, acting CEO, Rotana, said: “Most of our markets in the region posted firm growth in occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR and this is mainly due to our relentless focus on improving product offering, expanding portfolio and enhancing commercial efforts.

"Given the upward trend in the performance of global markets, we remain optimistic about positive growth prospects for the region,” he said in comments at a roundtable event held in Abu Dhabi.

Highlighting key opportunities in the market, Hutchinson said that with the growing public spending in tourism sectors, driven by the ambitious economic diversification roadmaps for the regional economies, the region’s hospitality sector is on the "tip of a tremendous transformation".

Major upcoming events, such as Expo 2020 Dubai, and tourism initiatives, including the $500 billion Red Sea coastline project, NEOM mega-city project, Al Qiddiya Entertainment City, Farasan Islands, and the 3,000 sq km Amaala luxury destination project in Saudi Arabia, will further strengthen the region’s reputation as a destination, he said.

He added that ongoing reforms aimed at easing visa regulations will make way for new source markets while up-and-coming inventory in mid-market offerings will enhance the hospitality market’s appeal and attract the growing segment of budget-conscious guests.

Hutchinson noted that GCC region is expected to see an additional 58,000 keys entering the market in 2019, with destinations such as Dubai, Makkah, and Riyadh accounting for the highest increases in supply.

"These new stocks will intensify competition leaving further pressure on room rates. As a result, maintaining profit margins will be a key challenge for hoteliers this year," he said.

Hutchinson also shed light on Rotana’s ongoing expansion efforts with plans to open nine new properties to bring its inventory of operational keys to 21,135 by 2020.

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