Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy rates rise to 65.2% in August, STR says

Revenue per available room rose to about $60 last month, 2.7 per cent above the pre-pandemic level of August 2019

The poolside area of Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas. The UAE tourism sector’s revenue exceeded $5.17bn during the first six months of this year. Victor Besa / The National
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Occupancy rates at Abu Dhabi hotels improved month on month in August to 65.2 per cent, according to data from hotel analytics provider STR.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key gauge of performance for the hotel industry, rose to Dh218.9 ($59.60) in August, higher than July and also 2.7 per cent above pre-coronavirus levels of August 2019, STR said in a report on Tuesday.

The average daily rate (ADR) stood at Dh335.49 in August, surpassing the pre-pandemic levels of August 2021 by 5.6 per cent, although it was Abu Dhabi’s lowest monthly level since September 2021, according to preliminary data from STR.

“Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry recorded improved occupancy from the month prior, but lower room rates,” the report said.

Occupancy rates improved as the number of hotel guests in the UAE rose 42 per cent, year on year, to 12 million during the first half of 2022, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said in a tweet on Sunday.

The UAE tourism sector’s revenue exceeded Dh19bn during the first six months of this year and the expectations are for “strong tourism performance in this winter season”, he said.

“Our indicators today are stronger than our indicators before the pandemic, and our economic growth is faster than before the pandemic, and our tourism, commercial and development sectors are larger than before the pandemic,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

The UAE economy expanded by 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, exceeding initial estimates, as higher oil prices, a recovery in tourism, a buoyant property sector and successful Covid-19 mitigation measures set it up for the fastest annual growth since 2011.

The pace of gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was significantly sharper than the 2.1 per cent pre-pandemic GDP level.


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The Fifa World Cup Qatar is also expected to bring a major boom to hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with many properties expecting near-full occupancy during November and December as thousands of fans descend on the cities due to limited accommodation in the host country.

The Gulf region's hospitality industry is expected to expand at a compound annual rate of 6.6 per cent between 2022 and 2026 to $34bn, Alpen Capital said in a report last month.

The medium-term growth will be driven by governments adopting strategies to boost tourism and economic recovery across the region, as well as increasing the number of tourist arrivals.

The GCC's largest markets, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are expected to record compound annual growth rates of 8 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, during the period, the report said.

Dubai Airports expects 62.4 million passengers to travel through the hub in 2022, raising its annual traffic forecast from an earlier projection in May of 58.3 million, after first-half volumes more than doubled.

Abu Dhabi Airports expects the Gulf hub to handle at least 13 million passengers in 2022, up from an earlier projection in February of 10.7 million, it said.

Updated: September 13, 2022, 9:30 AM