UAE hotel prices spike ahead of New Year’s Eve

Busy period for hotels and Airbnb hosts as tourism increases and residents choose staycations over trips abroad during the holidays

Hotel prices in the UAE have seen a significant spike ahead of the busy holiday period.

Burj Khalifa-facing hotels in Downtown Dubai are some of the priciest as New Year's Eve approaches.

The Address Dubai Mall Hotel, for example, costs Dh11,200 for a minimum two night stay from December 30 to January 1. That is the price for a 45 square-metre room, without breakfast, that overlooks Burj Khalifa.

A week later, the rates for the room drop down again to Dh1,469 per night.

Burj Khalifa will host a massive fireworks and laser show display when the clock strikes midnight. Registration is limited due to Covid-19 but the show will also be live-streamed online for those who can't watch it in person.

In Abu Dhabi, a room at the W Abu Dhabi hotel in Yas Marina, overlooking one of the capital's fireworks displays, costs Dh880 on December 31. Prices dip to Dh540 per night a week later.

epa06812368 Fireworks illuminates the sky over the Yas Viceroy luxury hotel on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr at the Marina on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, late 15 June 2018 (issued 16 June 2018). Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the three day festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, it will be observed on 15th or 16th of June depending on the lunar calendar. Eid al-Fitr is one of the two major holidays in Islam.  EPA/ALI HAIDER

Over in Fujairah, the Intercontinental Fujairah Resort has rates of Dh2,935 on Booking.com for Thursday night. Prices drop to Dh855 a week later.

Tareq Aboudib, general manager of the Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort in Fujairah, said the time between Christmas and New Year is typically the busiest season for hotels and this year is no different.

"On New Year’s we are fully booked,” he said. “This is a time where people tend to come together with different friends and family members and celebrate in a more outgoing fashion.”

A standard room at the resort for New Year's Eve starts at Dh878 and a two-bedroom apartment is Dh2,008.

A week later, a standard room is listed for Dh462 on Booking.com and the two-bedroom is going for Dh1,100.

Mr Aboudib said staycations were, unsurprisingly, in-demand this year because of limitations on travel. He said staycations helped hotels stay afloat as international tourism took a global hit.

“People want to get away, even if it’s within the Emirates,” he said.

Sonia Ngninkeu, co-owner of Bethel Vacation Homes in Dubai, said Airbnb was also popular during this time, as residents and tourist look for more affordable options.

She said December was the hospitality sector's peak season.

“A lot of hotels and vacation home owners are going for 30 to 50 per cent increase in prices for New Year’s Eve. We did a 30 per cent increase,” said Ms Ngninkeu.

Her company manages six holiday homes that they rent out on Airbnb.

“It’s a very busy period for us,” she said. “Some people prefer to stay in hotels, while others want to stay in Airbnbs, as it is still a more affordable option.”

Burj Khalifa-facing apartments on Airbnb cost between Dh1,900 to Dh2,900 on New Year's Eve.

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