Saudi hotels reap record Ramadan revenues

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The Clock Tower dominates the holy Muslim city of Makkah. Photo – Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Hotels in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah posted record revenues in July during the month of Ramadan, latest industry figures show.

According to STR Global, hotels in Makkah reported the biggest increase in performance with revenue per available room (RevPAR) soaring more than 90% compared to July 2011.

“Ramadan, which took place 20 July to 19 August, impacted the results across the Middle East”, said Elizabeth Randall Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

She added that Ramadan took place during August last year during which the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah reported RevPAR increases of 90.9% and 33%, respectively.”

Saudi city Jeddah also witnessed the largest rise in average daily rates (ADR) with a 7.9% increase to $228.98, STR Global report disclosed. It was also the only key market in the Middle East and Africa region to report a RevPAR increase, rising 12.7% to $191.53.

The report noted that Middle East/Africa region posted a mostly negative performance results in July.

The region’s occupancy decreased 4.9% to 56.7% during the month, its average daily rate increased 2.1% to $140.67 and its revenue per available room fell three percent to $79.72.

Beirut, affected by fears of fallout from Syrian civil war, ended the month with the largest decreases in all three key performance metrics with occupancy dropping 19.3% to 53.9%. The Lebanese capital’s ADR was down 25.2% to $195.78 and its RevPAR decreased 39.6% to $105.48.

Overall, hotels in Saudi Arabia saw occupancy rates slip 1.6% to 64.6% in July while RevPAR rose 31% and ADR rose 33%.

STR Global data also showed that hotels in the UAE witnessed a near-15% drop in occupancy to 60.5% in July, while RevPAR fell by 12.7% but ADR rose by 2.4%.

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