The key hotel markets in the United Arab Emirates have reached or surpassed 50% occupancy due to strong domestic and recent international demand, according to preliminary data and analysis from STR.
For the week of 30 November through 6 December, Abu Dhabi (69.0%), Ajman (66.5%) and Dubai (65.8%) experienced the highest occupancy levels in the country. Fujairah (62.4%), Sharjah (53.9%) and Ras Al Khaimah (52.5%) also showed continued week-to-week performance improvement.
“The UAE is traditionally one of the strongest performance markets in the world; therefore, we expect the region to continue showing occupancy increases during the typically strong winter season, especially after the recent announcement of a UK-UAE travel corridor,” said Philip Wooller, STR’s area director for the Middle East/Africa. “International travel has been in the crossfire of the pandemic, but the UAE has done a fine job in generating domestic demand and staycations to move the occupancy line in the right direction. The UAE’s, Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s tourism organizations as well as Etihad and Emirates airlines have done a phenomenal job in preparing the way for international guests to return. While leisure demand continues to strengthen, the next phase is the prominent return of corporate business, followed by group demand and events as we’ve seen this week with the return of GITEX in Dubai and ATM in May.”
On 2 December, UAE National Day, hotels in the country posted 73.5% occupancy, the highest daily level since 28 February (76.8%).
Occupancy in the UAE’s top markets has improved significantly since the pandemic low points. Abu Dhabi’s daily hotel occupancy reached as high as 82.3% on 2 December. Dubai hotel occupancy improved to a level as high as 70.3% that same day. Dubai opened its doors to international tourists on 7 July after roughly four months of total closure.
Additional COVID-19 analysis
All of STR’s COVID-19 analysis can be found here.