10,000 five-star Dubai hotel rooms ‘in need of refurbishment’

Revamp to the tune of Dh325,000 for each room required, according to global consultancy EC Harris, as new wave of hotels increases the competition for older properties.

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Amid the recent boom in new luxury hotels in Dubai more than 10,000 hotel rooms in the emirate are now in need of revamp to the tune of around Dh325,000 each, according to estimates.

EC Harris, the global consultancy, said that more than 10,000 five-star hotel rooms in Dubai are now in need of refurbishment.

“Some of the hotel assets in Dubai are now over 15 years old and to maintain the quality of the offering, protect the brand and meet customer expectations, refurbishment programmes are becoming a requirement,” said Christopher Seymour, the head of property UAE at EC Harris.

"The quality of the hospitality accommodation in the UAE is very high and with the wave of new hotel construction in the pipeline, we will see some operators forced to undertake refit and refresh of their older hotel assets in order to remain competitive."

EC Harris estimates that there were 23,500 five star rooms in Dubai in 2012. However, this number has grown significantly throughout the last 18 months as operators launch new properties to meet growing demand and cash in on lucrative room rates.

The launch of the high-end Conrad Dubai earlier this month marked the 18th new hotel to open in the city since June last year, bringing the total number of hotels in the emirate to 605.

Also this month, the Thai chain Anantara opened its 293-room Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort and Spa. It followed the French chain Sofitel's opening of its 543-room Sofitel Palm Resort and Spa in July and the opening of the 252-room Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay in June.

According to preliminary data for last month from STR Global, the number of hotel rooms in Dubai grew 5.8 per cent compared with the previous year, while demand from guests grew by 30.4 per cent in the same period, mostly because of the timing of the month of Ramadan.

It said that occupancy levels rose 23.3 per cent to 72.6 per cent and the average nightly room rate increased to Dh753.16.