Dubai hotel occupancies drop during Ramadan; Jeddah, Manama, Amman benefit

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Occupancies at hotels across Dubai dropped to 69.4% in July, plummeting by 11.1% from the same period in 2011, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

The Middle East Hotels Benchmark Survey, carried out by Ernst & Young, looked at the performance of leading hotels in the Middle East, including international brands across the 5 star and 4 star markets.

“This plunge is mainly because of the coincidence of Ramadan with parts of July and August,” Youssef Wahba, Head of the Estate Counseling Services for Ernst & Young in Mena, said.

However, other Arab countries like Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia witnessed an increase in hotel occupancies over the same period.

Bahrain enjoyed an increase in occupancy rate by 39.1% than 2011 while hotels in Amman saw a hike of 36.4% than the previous year, Wahba said.

“Bahrain’s figures can be a result of the political stability it enjoys now compared to last year. Also, the turbulences in Syria forced many tourists to go to neighbouring Jordan instead,” Wahba added.

The survey added that Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt saw a boost in tourists by 19.5%, while Saudi’s Jeddah benefited from an 18.6% increase during Ramadan and the Umrah pilgrimage season.

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