Middle East hospitality aims for optimistic growth: EY Survey

An overview of Middle East hotels
An overview of Middle East hotels

The hospitality industry in UAE particular saw positive growth throughout H1 2013. These encouraging trends were revealed through Ernst & Young Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey for June 2013. As per the survey, Dubai achieved an overall increase in average occupancy of 2.0%, along with growth in average daily rate (ADR) from US$267 to US$284.

In June 2013, the hospitality sector recorded a seasonally-expected slowdown, due to decrease in tourist arrivals at the start of summer. ADR decreased by 21% month over month from US$243 in May 2013 to US$192 in June 2013, which was also coupled with a slight decline in average occupancy of 4.8% during the same period. In June, the overall occupancy rate in Dubai increased by 1.2% compared to June 2012. In addition, Dubai’s RevPAR increased by 6.9%, attributed to an increase in ADR from US$182 to US$192 over June 2012.

Abu Dhabi also recorded a marginal increase in overall occupancy by 1.0% in June compared to the same period last year, with average room rates and RevPAR also increasing by 1.6% and 2.8%, respectively. In the wider MENA region, Manama and Jeddah lead the GCC cities in recording the highest increases in RevPAR during H1 2013 as compared to the same period last year.

Commenting on the survey, Yousef Wahbah, MENA head of transaction Real Estate at EY said: “The hospitality market across the MENA region witnessed strong growth in H1 2013. Despite the continued economic and political uncertainty in a number of markets, overall hotel occupancy rates and RevPAR have continued to grow.”

Jeddah’s RevPAR increased by 13.4% in H1 2013 compared to H1 2012, attributed to an increase in ADR from US$240 in H1 2012 to US$275 in H1 2013, with average occupancy remaining at a consistent 80.0% over the period. In June 2013, Jeddah saw an overall occupancy rate increase of 1.0 pp compared to June 2012, with ADR and RevPAR also increasing, by 18.1% and 19.6%, respectively.

The hospitality sector in Bahrain also saw positive performance in H1 2013, especially in Manama. During H1, RevPAR in Manama saw a 15.4% increase compared to the same period last year. In June 2013, Manama saw an increase in overall occupancy of 8.0%, with average room rates increasing by 5.1% and RevPAR increasing significantly, by 27.5%, compared to June 2012.

In contrast, the hospitality markets in the Levant region, specifically Lebanon and Jordan, continued to underperform in H1 2013. In Lebanon, Beirut averaged a 58.0% occupancy rate, representing a 7.0% decrease from H1 2012. In addition, ADR saw a 21.0% decrease in Beirut, from US$210 to US$166 over the same period. In June 2013, Beirut recorded a decrease of 4.0% in overall occupancy, with average room rates and RevPAR also decreasing, by 17.7% and 23.0%, respectively.

Jordan also recorded negative growth in H1 2013, with RevPAR falling by 16.0% compared to H1 2012, from US$ 119 to US$ 100. This decrease can be attributed to a 16.0% fall in average occupancy over the same period. However, in June 2013, the hospitality market in Jordan recorded a slight increase, with overall occupancy in Amman increasing by 1.0%, with ADR increasing by 7.4% and RevPAR increasing by 8.9%, bucking the H1 trend.

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