Mideast sees fall in revenues

News, Front of House

Hotels in the Middle East/Africa region reported a near 11% fall in occupancy rates in 2009 and are lagging behind with the global recovery in revenues, according to latest data compiled by STR Global. The region’s occupancy in 2009 dropped 10.9% to 62% while average daily rate (ADR) declined 2.7% to US$153.91 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell 13.3% to US$95.44.

Dubai reported the largest RevPAR decrease, falling 31.4% to US$163.31, followed by Istanbul (-19.5% to US$127.47).

Dubai was also one of the only three markets which experienced ADR decreases. The emirate saw declines of 23.7% to US$235.48. Hotels in Muscat, Oman, posted the largest occupancy decrease, falling 21.1% to 53.6%, followed by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a 17.9% drop to 58.3%.

Overall in December, the region’s occupancy fell 2.4% to 56.8%; ADR dropped 5.6% to US$166.53; and RevPAR was down 7.9% to US$94.53, the data showed.

“The Middle East/Africa region currently lags behind the other world regions in terms of RevPAR recovery,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “However, as the region entered the downturn later than Europe, Asia/Pacific and North America, we believe this only to be a time lag until the Middle East/Africa region follows the other regions on the recovery path,” she added.

She said that overall, the Middle East/Africa region finished 2009 with 13.3% RevPAR decline but still reported the highest RevPAR (US$95.44) of all regions. Among the key markets in the region, Riyadh reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 18.9% to 52.6%.

Two markets ended the month with double-digit occupancy decreases – Abu Dhabi (21.2% to 52.9%), and Beirut (11.6% to 69.1%).

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