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Middle East hotel rates drop 2.9 per cent

Hotel rates in the Middle East and Africa fell to $189 (£135) in December, according to HotStats

Pictured: Abu Dhabi

Hotels in the Middle East and Africa suffered a 2.9 per cent drop in average room rate in December to $189 (£135) according to the latest worldwide poll of full-service hotels from HotStats.

The dip was accompanied by a 3.1 per cent increase in room occupancy to 66.6 per cent. Average room rate in the residential conference sector fell 4.6 per cent.

“The diversity of hotel markets across the Middle East & Africa and their key demand drivers means it always going to be a mixed bag of top and bottom line performance, but this year has been particularly volatile due to the ongoing oil crisis, political and economic instability and security concerns,” said Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats. 

Hotels in Abu Dhabi bucked the trend slightly, recording an increase in both room occupancy (3.6 per cent) and average room rate (4 per cent).

Average rates in the residential conference sector were up 41.6 per cent, as a number of major conferences hosted at ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) helped to drive demand for hotel accommodation. Events included the International Diabetes Federation congress, which attracted more than 7,500 attendees.

In contrast, political and economic challenges in Qatar continue to affect the performance of hotels in Doha. In December, the capital’s hotels saw a 2.4 per cent decline in room occupancy, to 61 per cent, as well as a 7.8 per cent decline in achieved average room rate, to $163 (£115).

“Despite the sanctions imposed by neighbouring countries, economic growth in Qatar remained surprisingly robust in 2017, with further growth anticipated in 2018. However, the growth has primarily been through the construction sector and spurred by government-led initiatives; meanwhile, the tourism industry has been left floundering, evidenced by the performance of hotels in Doha this month,” said Alonso.

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