Hotels benefit as prices rise for Dubai conference season

Big gatherings such as Intersec on January 18 to 20 and Arab Health, which opens a week later, are driving up demand for rooms near Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The two-star Ibis World Trade Centre has double bedded rooms from about Dh1,690, including taxes – but breakfast is not included. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation

Budget hotels in Dubai are quoting as much as US$460 a night as conference season moves into top gear.

Big gatherings such as Intersec on January 18 to 20 and Arab Health, which opens a week later, are driving up demand for rooms near Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Nearby properties such as H Hotel and Crowne Plaza have increased their rates to start from Dh2,000 per night, with the Conrad fetching about Dh3,000, towards the end of this month. The two-star Ibis World Trade Centre has double bedded rooms from about Dh1,690, including taxes – but breakfast is not included.

Business hotels along Dubai’s main commercial corridor typically increase rates during exhibition season when they can command prices as high or higher than the city’s beachfront resorts.

The average nightly room rate in central Dubai was $203 during the first 10 months of last year according to EY data. That compares with $385 per night for rooms on the beach.

With space limited on Sheikh Zayed Road, especially near Dubai World Trade Centre, and a shortage of taxis during peak hours, the few properties available within walking distance or easy access via the Dubai Metro are in high demand. Those near malls such as the Kempinski and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Residences in Al Barsha are also quoting more than Dh2,000 a room for a night.

During the four-day Arab Health exhibition starting on January 26, some properties such as the Radisson Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Citymax in both Bur Dubai and Al Barsha and Deira’s Copthorne hotels are already sold out. The number of attendees are expected to be in excess of 100,000 this year, according to the organisers. Last year attendance was 124,882.

The exhibition organiser is sold out of rooms at most of the hotels that had been pre-booked for registered attendees. Arab Health is working with 60 hotels in Dubai to offer cheaper room rates.

“There were an estimated 3,000 room nights booked through our show website by the first week this month, with regular visitors locking in their hotel bookings as early as July the previous year in anticipation of the rush,” said Daniel McDonald, the Arab Health travel and hospitality manager.

“Our hospitality team is expecting the number of bookings to go up significantly in the next few days before any remaining rooms are released back to the hotels, which will be reflected in the higher room rates.”

ssahoo@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter