Dubai Tops Global List For Hotel Occupancy
Dubai's hotel occupancy rates of 86.2% for January this year were the best in the world, according to the emirate's regulatory tourist body (DTCM). Dubai also topped the global rankings for average revenue.
The top ranking for occupancy is a major improvement on Dubai's performance in 2010, when the emirate came in seventh position with a 75.4% rate. It was also much better than 2009, when it came fifth.
Dubai did not quite top the separate list for average room rate, but it came in second behind Paris with an average price of US$269.90, up from fourth position in 2011 and 2010 with US$224 and US$218 respectively.
This represents a remarkable recovery for Dubai, which was riding high until the world recession had a drastic effect on tourism. In both 2009 and 2008, before the worst effects of the financial crisis, Dubai was top in the category of average room rate with US$235 and US$300 respectively.
In terms of RevPAR (revenue per available room), once again Dubai stood at the top of the world with US$232 per room, up from fifth last year (US$169) and sixth in 2010 (US$154). Back in 2008, before the recession, it had also been first with US$237.
Ahead of 14 major world cities
The statistics were released in an STR Global report at the major international travel show, ITB-2012, in Berlin, which ran from March 7-11. Dubai came in ahead of 14 other popular global destinations. They were Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Madrid, Beijing and Rome.
Dubai's performance represents a remarkable upsurge since its hotel market slumped after the global financial crisis. Dubai's hotel occupancy in 2009, for example, recorded a decline of 10.2 per cent.
Good news for investors
The recovery is great news for property investors. The rise in demand should help Dubai's many new hotel developments, such as The First Group's two luxury hotel apartment projects in Tecom; Metro Central and Grand Central, which are found in the bustling business district of Tecom in the heart of "New Dubai". These high-end developments are attractive to investors as the luxury end of the market did particularly well last year, soaring 17.6%.
The performance of Dubai's hotels in 2011 was linked to its reputation in the region as a safe haven during the Arab Spring which had a severely negative effect on hotel occupancy in some African countries. In Egypt, for example, there was a 38% decrease in occupancy.
Meanwhile, DTCM's 528-square metre Dubai Stand at the world's biggest travel industry show saw a huge amount of activity with government officials, diplomats, ministers and travel industry representatives holding discussions with the DTCM and other officials. The visitors were briefed about the new hotel classification system and the Dubai Green Tourism Award programme by the DTCM Director of Licensing, Majid Al Marri.
by: Cain Masters