Idex fills up capital hotel rooms at top rack rates

Many hotels running at full occupancy and doubling rates in the capital because of influx for visitors for Idex.

Occupancy levels in Abu Dhabi last month rose to 60.9 per cent from 56.5 per cent in January last year.
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Business is booming at hotels across Abu Dhabi with many 100 per cent full and charging top rates for rooms as the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) comes to town.

"All nine of our hotels in Abu Dhabi are 100 per cent full," said Adrian Deegan, the area director of sales at Rotana. He estimated about half of that business was because of Idex.

The hotels had been full since Saturday, he said, adding that rates had doubled this week, averaging between Dh900 (US$245) at Rotana's three-star hotels to Dh1,800 at the five-star Beach Rotana for standard rooms.

The influx of guests is a welcome boost for hoteliers, with the city's hotels in the past year experiencing sharp falls in revenue because of an increase in the supply of rooms.


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"The signs are good," said Mr Deegan. "On the whole Abu Dhabi is definitely on the up. Apart from Idex, you have so much more business and projects going on as well, and that is supplemented by the tourism. It means that on the whole it appears that the whole city is doing very well."

The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel in Abu Dhabi reported it had been full since Saturday.

According to data released this week by STR Global, a hotel benchmarking company based in London, occupancy levels in Abu Dhabi last month rose to 60.9 per cent from 56.5 per cent in January last year, while average rates decreased last month by 32.6 per cent to $189.70.

This week's success has also extended to Yas Island, just outside the city.

"It's a really good week," said Torbjorn Bodin, the general manager of the Radisson Blu hotel on Yas Island, explaining the hotel and its sister property next door, Park Inn, had been fully booked for the past four days.

But hoteliers also pointed out that following Idex there are no comparable events in Abu Dhabi until the Formula One Grand Prix in November.