Most major hotel markets in the Gulf region reported performance declines when comparing this year's holy month of Ramadan with Ramadan last year, according to preliminary data from STR.
Muscat, Oman, was the only market analysed that reported an increase in revenue per available room (up 8.7%) while Muscat's 19.4% increase in occupancy outweighed a 9% drop in average daily rate (ADR).
Dubai was the only other market that did not report a significant decline in RevPAR, although performance was nearly flat as a decline in ADR (down 1.5%) countered an uplift in occupancy (up 1.2%), the figures showed.
According to STR analysts, growing hotel supply and geopolitical issues are affecting the region’s performance.
School terms also factored into performance results — Saudi Arabia’s school term finished earlier, while school in some countries continued through the Ramadan period.
Makkah, Saudi Arabia, reported an 8.8% decline in RevPAR, which was primarily the result of a 7.9% drop in occupancy to 74.3%.
STR analysts also noted that key religious tourism source markets, including Egypt and Indonesia, are currently facing currency devaluations against the Saudi Arabian riyal, making it less affordable for potential visitors from those nations to embark on pilgrimages.
Qatar reported an occupancy decrease of 7.2% and a drop in ADR of 8.3%, the STR data also showed.
STR said it compared the 2017 dates of May 26 through June 25 with the 2016 time period of June 6 through July 6.