UAE tourism in­dus­try re­mains strong

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


De­spite re­gional chal­lenges, the tourism in­dus­try in the UAE over the past year has re­mained strong and pros­per­ous. Ac­cord­ing to fore­casts, Dubai will re­main sta­ble with on­go­ing growth and Abu Dhabi is likely to re­main un­der pres­sure with con­tin­ued growth in ho­tel sup­ply.

"While some tra­di­tion­ally pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions, such as Le­banon, Egypt, Syria, etc. have been af­fected by se­cu­rity con­cerns and travel ad­vi­sories, other des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing Dubai, have proven re­silient and even thrived in the re­cent months, par­tially ben­e­fit­ting from the cri­sis," said Christo­pher Hewett, Con­sul­tant with TRI Hos­pi­tal­ity Con­sult­ing in Dubai. Ac­cord­ing to TRI Hos­pi­tal­ity Con­sult­ing's fig­ures, Dubai's ho­tels gross oper­at­ing profit per avail­able room (GOPPAR) in­creased 14.1 per cent to $160.07 for the Jan­uary to Septem­ber pe­riod.

"Dubai's hos­pi­tal­ity mar­ket have shown signs of pros­per­ity again, as­sisted by its im­age as the re­gional safe haven, but mainly pow­ered by its large va­ri­ety of leisure and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions, num­ber of key re­gional and in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences, and grow­ing busi­ness de­mand, all of which helped im­prove oc­cu­pancy lev­els, room rates, and prof­its throughout 2012," Hewett said.

Abu Dhabi, which has wit­nessed an in­crease in the num­ber of rooms with new ho­tel sup­ply, and which re­lies mostly on cor­po­rate de­mand have strug­gled through a year of di­min­ished busi­ness de­mand, reg­is­ter­ing a GOPPAR of $70.41 for the Jan­uary to Septem­ber pe­riod, a 19.1 per cent drop from the same pe­riod in 2011, he ex­plained.

Ac­cord­ing to TRI's lat­est data, to date Abu Dhabi's av­er­age oc­cu­pancy has in­creased 1.5 per cent to 66.3 per cent. In spite of a pos­i­tive change in oc­cu­pancy lev­els, Abu Dhabi's ho­tels have un­der­per­formed as the in­crease in oc­cu­pancy did not make up for the 14.7 per cent drop in Av­er­age Room Rate (ARR), re­sult­ing in a 12.7 per cent drop in rev­enue per avail­able room (RevPAR).

Av­er­age room rate for the first nine months this year stands at $274.2, up 8 per cent from last year, whereas Abu Dhabi's ARR dropped 14.7 per cent to $136.5.

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