Abu Dhabi hotels feel the heat as room rates drop

Abu Dhabi’s hotels are feeling the summer heat as room rates drop despite an increase in occu­pancy last month.

The demand for hotels in the capital outstripped supply during the month, unlike neighbouring Dubai, according to the research company STR.

The average room rate across Abu Dhabi decreased 4.1 per cent to touch Dh433.10 even as the average occupancy rate rose by 1.3 per cent to 74.4 per cent year-on-year.

The revenue per available room, a key measure of a hotel’s profitability, decreased 2.9 per cent to Dh322.06.

Performance was boosted during the Israa wal Miraj holiday weekend in the first week of May, when occupancy rose to 95.4 per cent across Abu ­Dhabi, and the average room rate touched Dh558.59, STR said.

Abu Dhabi had about 24,450 hotel rooms at the end of the first quarter.

“There has been a slight decrease in the average daily room rate versus last year and the rates are cyclical, which is a sign of the market maturing,” said Guy Hutchinson, the chief operating officer of Rotana. “As long as the government supports the hotel sector by reinvesting in tourism offices globally and airlines, the demand will always be there.”

Rotana operates 12 properties in Abu Dhabi with 3,728 rooms and two properties in Al Ain with 446 rooms.

The capital’s first Four Seasons hotel opened this quarter with 200 rooms. Another 200-room hotel is expected to open on Al Maryah Island by 2019.


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