By David Thompson
Sector presents better investment opportunities than some key global markets, hoteliers say
The UAE's budget and midmarket hotels sector has more lucrative investment potential than alternative destinations including New York, London and Paris, industry representatives have said.
Smartotels founder and managing Partner Tarek Daouk said: “Dubai is a medium- to high-barrier market. If you look globally, the Paris and New Yorks of the world are clearly more challenging.
“Dubai is facilitating growth from a developer aspect through the availability of land, and there’s also high concentration of capital on the equity side,” he said.
“We have a legitimate offering here [Dubai] from both a guest and investor perspective. It is an appealing destination to launch in - that is clear."
Citymax Hotels chief operating officer Russell Sharpe said: “Concerning ROI, in UAE you can get upwards of 15% return on your investment – which you won’t get in Europe or even perhaps in the Far East.
“A lot of people are looking to come here, but considering the Middle East as a whole, take Lebanon for example, it once had significantly better occupancy than Dubai, things can change all because of stability. Dubai has that stability.”
TIME Hotels chief executive officer Mohamed Awadalla said: “The government of Dubai is definitely ahead of couther countries, they are developing the attractions that are further facilitating guest arrivals.
"I think that if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would open up like Dubai has they too would be very successful, especially because they have so much culture.”
Louay Sarrage, vice president of strategy & development, Roda Hotels & Resorts added: “There is a generational shift, young people come to Dubai for the lifestyle it offers, it is a big attraction for many younger travellers and they want budget and mid-market hotels.”
The comments were made at the Hotelier Express Summit 2016, during a panel discussion entitled : Alternative Accommodation – Competing with Disruptors.