Five-star hotel room rates in Abu Dhabi decline 20% in March

Staying at luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi became more affordable in March.

The hotel room rates index fell 20.2 per cent that month from February, while that for hotel apartments declined 7.4 per cent, according to Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (Scad).

Room rates at five-star hotels dropped the most at 21.2 per cent, compared with a decline of 8.6 per cent for one-star properties.

As a result, hotel room revenues dived 13 per cent in March, while revenues for hotel apartments dipped 1.4 per cent.

The emirate had 161 hotels and hotel apartment buildings at the end of the first half of this year, up from 154 in the year-earlier period.

In the first quarter, hotel room rates rose 5.4 per cent from the same period last year, while hotel apartment room rates climbed 6.6 per cent.

The index is based on a comparison of average daily rates that the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) collects on a monthly basis, and the price index is a measure of price changes.

About 1 million hotel guests stayed in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, up 19.9 per cent from the same period last year. About 32 per cent, or 319,409, of the guests were Emiratis, up from 260,755 in the first quarter last year.

Tourists’ average length of stay declined during that period to 2.9 days from 3.1 days last year. Occupancy at hotel apartments was 84.5 per cent, versus 77.8 per cent at hotels.

Despite the efforts of TCA to promote the Al Gharbia region, tourists flocked to the capital.

“The majority of guests stayed in the Abu Dhabi region, with 87 per cent of the total guests in the first quarter, compared with 9.8 per cent in Al Ain region and 3.2 per cent in Al Gharbia region,” said a TCA report.

More than 20 per cent of guests preferred to stay in five-star hotels.

Between January and April, the number of tourists staying at hotels and hotel apartments in Abu Dhabi rose 20 per cent to about 1.3 million.

Domestic tourism topped occupancy rates, followed by tourists from Britain, India, China, Germany and the US.

Hotel occupancy was at 79 per cent, while room revenues increased 16 per cent.

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