In a May 2018 MENA hotel benchmark report released by Ernst & Young (EY), Abu Dhabi experienced the highest occupancy rates in the region with a 76.6% occupancy rate.
However the average room rate (ADR) decreased by 11.8% from US $101 in May 2017 to $89 in May 2018. The capital city managed to maintain the same RevPAR of $68 from last year.
Saudi Arabia came across as the top performer across other metrics like ADR and RevPAR with Jeddah recording the highest ADR of US$351, resulting in the highest RevPAR of US$259 in May 2018.
However, MENA Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction Sector Leader at EY Yousef Wahbah, said the region experienced an overall decline across all KPIs in May 2018 when compared to May 2017.
“Due to Ramadan beginning in mid-May this year and the onset of the summer season, the overall decline in performance in the region is unsurprising,” Wahbah noted.
Saudi Arabia, however, performed relatively well because of the large influx of pilgrims during the Ramadan. More than 2 million pilgrims were expected to have visited the holy city of Makkah and Madinah, resulting in increased KPIs across Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah, with declines only in Riyadh.
In the UAE, Dubai’s occupancy rates plunged by 16.4% points to 60.9% from 77.3% recorded in May 2017. ADR dropped by 0.7% from US$238 to US$236, resulting in a decline in RevPAR by 21.7% from US$184 to US$144 for the same period. Wahbah attributes the dip “as a result of the peak season of events and conferences coming to a close”.
“The MENA hospitality market will continue to see a drop in KPIs during the summer season as business travel declines and conferences and events are at a minimum,” Wahbah stated in the report.