The UAE’s hospitality industry continues to make a good recovery and is ready to welcome the world for the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai as 12,000 new keys are expected to be added in the second half of 2021 in Dubai and 1,400 in Abu Dhabi.
Ayman Ashor, cluster general manager for Al Bandar Rotana and Arjaan by Rotana, said Dubai and the UAE hotels have been ready since last year to accommodate and welcome different kinds of nationalities with different budgets for Expo 2020.
“Hotels are now offering different types of stays that fit individuals, groups and exhibitors. We are also providing transportation to and from Expo daily to hotel guests to make the stay as useful and entertaining as possible,” he said.
In addition, Ashor says other affiliated industries such as retail, residential, transportation and food and beverages will also benefit directly and indirectly from Expo 2020.
According to JLL’s latest UAE Real Estate Market Performance study, hotel occupancy in Dubai has steadily improved this year, recorded at 58 per cent in the first five months of 2021 as compared to 46 per cent for the same period of 2020,
Similarly in Abu Dhabi, occupancy levels have improved slightly by one per cent to 61 per cent during January-May 2021. However, average daily rates (ADRs) still face pressure in the capital, declining by seven per cent to $89.
Colliers International expects all the emirates will witness a rise in hotel occupancy levels in 2021.
Since international tourism remained limited due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, the UAE operators also continue to offer staycation deals to capitalise on domestic tourism demand.
“We can expect this trend to continue for the short to medium term until further easing of travel restrictions are successful in opening key source markets, particularly ahead of Expo 2020,” said Dana Salbak, head of research at Mena at JLL.
The UAE will see a new supply of 13,400 units in the second half which will cater to increased demand and the gradual return of travel following the impact of the pandemic on the hotel industry.
The study found that four-star hotels account for nearly half of projects – 49 per cent – that are under construction along with a number of new five-star properties that make up 37 per cent of the total.
“The balance between four and five-star hotels comes as no surprise and is in line with Dubai’s expanding tourism base. Offering more mid-segment and affordable hotel stays without compromising on quality has been a part of Dubai’s strategy to attract visitors from various destinations and comes in light of the high visitation numbers that are anticipated for Expo,” said Dana Salbak, head of research at Mena at JLL.
According to Colliers, the UAE and most Saudi Arabia hospitality industries are expected to see a faster recovery in comparison to the other markets in the region.
“The UAE will potentially benefit from the build-up to the Expo with the actual event expected to start in Q4 2021,” it said.