According to sister publication Arabian Business, most of its 25,000 employees in the region have either been furloughed or are working reduced hours. Accor CEO for MEA Mark Willis said in a Bloomberg interview on Wednesday that 800 have been made redundant.Despite this sombre news for those in the region, Willis said “You can feel the positive vibe in Dubai specifically,” saying that both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are starting to show signs of recovery. He revealed that Accor’s hotels in Ajman and Fujairah have been full “but at a reduced capacity level.”
Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) last week refuted reports that up to 30% of the UAE’s hospitality workers will find themselves jobless by the summer. Responding to a Bloomberg report, a Dubai Tourism spokesperson assured the emirate’s hospitality industry “is healthy” and that the industry will come out the other side of COVID-19 even stronger.Willis added that the group has no plans to increase hotel prices at the moment. “Obviously prices are driven by demand and over the next six or nine months, before we return to some form of normality, that demand will return, but it will return in a slow fashion,” he said.