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Room rates on the slide in Qatar as oil concerns persist

Hotel rooms in Doha cost an average of £138 for the calendar year to March, according to HotStats report

Pictured: Doha, oil price concerns are putting pressure on hotel rates

Ongoing fears surrounding the global decline in oil prices have contributed to a 12 per cent fall in average room rates (ARR) in Qatar.

The latest HotStats Middle East and North Africa chain hotels market review notes that ARR for the first three months of the year in the Qatari capital Doha were 12.3 per cent down on 2015. In the calendar year to March, a room in Doha would have cost an average of US$199 (£138) while rates for the same period last year averaged US$226 (£156). Year-on-year rates for the month of March were also down, but not as dramatically - by 8 per cent to US$207 (£143). Year-on-year occupancy figures had also fallen by 8 per cent.

Oil prices hit a 12-year low in January and have slumped by as much as 70 per cent since June 2014, and after the collapse of talks between the world’s leading oil producing nations last month, HotStats’ analysts predict further gloom for the region’s hoteliers.

Report authors noted: “Whilst Doha hosted OPEC discussions which planned to freeze the production of oil in order to stabilise pricing, the collapse of the talks has coincided with the continued decline in oil prices, suggesting hotels in Qatar’s capital will face a challenging operating environment throughout 2016.”

It’s a similar story in Saudi port Jeddah, where hoteliers have seen year-on-year average rates fall by 6 per cent to US$270 (£187) in the face of declining occupancy. 

Elsewhere, hotels in the Bahraini capital Manama have failed to arrest a rolling decline in rates, despite a 1 per cent uplift in occupancy. Rates in March averaged US$192 (£133), 9.7 per cent down on March 2015 figures.

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