Recent research has shown that revenues and occupancy for four and five star hotels increased significantly in 2012, driven by Omani rather than foreign guests, says real estate specialist Cluttons in a report on the hospitality industry in Oman.
The market is also characterized by a notable number of new developments. Cluttons predicts that such projects are set to double the supply of three to five star hotel rooms in the Muscat Governorate over the next five years.
Recently released government figures show that both revenues and occupancy for four and five star hotels in the Sultanate improved this year.
The statistics show that occupancy for five star hotels across the Sultanate increased from 47.9 per cent in 2011 to 54.5 per cent in 2012, while four-star hotels showed an increase from 52.4 per cent to 54.2 per cent.
Data released by the hospitality consultancy, STR Global, shows that average annual occupancy for higher rated Muscat hotels increased by 14.3 per cent to 59.6 per cent in 2012.
The government figures indicate that the green shoots of recovery being seen in the four and five star hotel sector are generally being driven by Omani rather than foreign guests.
The number of Omani guests has increased by 70 per cent from 2009 to 2012, while the number of GCC and European guests, despite showing signs of improvement, remains below those for 2009.
Meanwhile, occupancy rates remain significantly below 2008 national averages of 68.1 per cent for five star hotels and 66.5 per cent for four star hotels. Four and five star hotel revenues have shown a 12.5 per cent (RO 15 million) increase in 2012 in comparison to 2011, but average revenue per guest remains at the same level seen in 2009.
Cluttons' research shows a significant number of new hotels in the planning or development stage in the Muscat capital area which include: the five-star Kempinski Hotel under development at The Wave by the Omani Hospitality Company, scheduled to be completed during the first half of 2015; and the four-star Best Western Premier, which opened in Al Khuwair at the end of 2012.
Also expected to open in mid-2013 is the four-star Holiday Inn Seeb, which is being developed for Action Hotels.
The Panorama, development by Allied Real Estate, is currently under construction in Al Khuwair and will provide a Millennium Hotel and Somerset Serviced Residences.
The upcoming Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, which will provide four high end hotels, including a Crowne Plaza. Other properties on the anvil are the proposed InterContinental Hotel at Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club, and the five-star Athaiba Hotel under construction at Airport Heights.
Higher rated hotels are starting to show some signs of improvement in performance after a noticeable slump following the global financial downturn in 2008. Cluttons believes the increased supply of highly rated hotels will provide a further impetus to the sector by offering greater competition and choice to hotel guests.
Cluttons expects the number of three to five star hotel rooms in the Muscat area to double over the next five years.
Oman Daily Observer