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The hospitality industry in the UAE is witnessing robust development. Industry experts say it is leading in the Middle East in terms of occupancy, revenues and room rates. The UAE’s diverse strategies and specialised offerings, ranging from holiday homes to boutique and retreat hotels, place the nation in the global league. In addition, the ferment of tourism and constant investments provide a positive outlook.
Forecasts say the hotel revenue for 2015 would reach Dh26.8 billion. By end of 2015, overnight stays in UAE hotels would reach 51.5 million. This trend may continue for the next three years as per the Business Monitor International report. Additionally, it is predicted that tourism numbers may double by 2020.
Apart from forecasts, Dh30 billion will be invested in the hotel and tourism sectors by government and semi-government organisations, and private firms to augment the competitiveness of the UAE hospitality market.
According to an Ernst & Young report, current figures show occupancy rates average at 72 per cent across UAE hotels. Dubai topped in terms of rate, revenue and occupancy (average of 79 per cent) in the January-September period. In contrast, Abu Dhabi sustained its last year’s figure (77 per cent).
Five luxury hotels in Downtown Dubai and Business Bay, where business visitors and travelers are increasing, recently opened to the public. Approximately 96 hotels are coming, 30 of which will open in 2017.
With each new hotel project, new standards are set in the hospitality sector. For instance, in terms of design, 2017 may observe the launch of the first full solar hotel. Also, millennials are a rapidly budding customer segment. They focus on personalised service and experience, and want work, play, eat/drink spaces and innovative technology for bookings, check-ins, planning, information and so on. Health and wellness options also steer customer decisions when choosing the right hotel.
• High forecast on UAE hospitality sector attracting investments
• Hotels offering new designs and experience coming to market
• About 30 hotels are scheduled to open in different areas in 2017
Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer