The Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey released by Ernst & Young indicated that on a yearly basis, hotel occupancy increased in 12 Middle Eastern cities during the first six months of 2012, while it remained the same in two of them and decreased in the remaining two.
In details, the cities to have posted a rise in occupancy rates were Amman (24 percentage points (pp)), Sharm El Shaikh (20 pp), Manama (12 pp), Hurghada (11 pp), Beirut (11 pp), Jeddah (8 pp), Cairo (6 pp) Madina (5 pp), Makkah (5 pp), Muscat (3 pp), Dubai (3 pp) and Riyadh (1 pp). Those to have recorded a decrease in tenancy rates were Kuwait (-3 pp) and Doha (-5 pp). As to occupancy rates in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, they remained constant on a yearly basis.
As to average room rates, they were mostly on a downward trend as 12 cities recorded a decline with the highest drop seen in Egyptian cities. In fact, average room rates in Cairo, Hurghada, and Sharm El Shaikh edged down by a yearly 18.6%, 16.7% and 15.7% respectively during the first half of 2012. Abu Dhabi came next with a drop of 11.8% and was followed by the rest of the cities which posted a single-digit yearly decline. Conversely, hotels within Makkah, Dubai and Jeddah witnessed the highest annual increase in average room rates which came as follows: 17.7%, 8.4% and 7.8% respectively.
As such, rooms’ yield in most cities within the region rose in the first six months of 2012, be it from greater hotel occupancy or from higher room rates, or in some cases both. Indeed, the highest rise was witnessed by Manama with 47.6%. It was followed by Amman with 46.5%, then came Madina (25.8%). Meanwhile, the steepest declines were registered by Abu Dhabi (-11.1%), Doha (-8.0%) and Al Ain (-6.9%).
The MENA Weekly Monitor – Bank Audi