Commenting on the February 2017 MENA Hotel Benchmark Survey Report, Yousef Wahbah, MENA Head of Transaction Real Estate at EY said:
“Overall, the hospitality market across the GCC witnessed an even split in increases and declines of KPIs in February 2017 when compared to the same month last year. In the GCC, half of the markets saw an increase in revenue per average room (RevPAR), these were the UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar; while the other half, KSA, Oman, and Bahrain, saw a slowdown in performance. Among the GCC cities surveyed, the city-based hotels of Dubai saw the highest occupancy at 89.1%, while the beach-based hotels had the highest average room rate at US$399. Also in the UAE, Abu Dhabi experienced the highest increase in RevPAR compared to February 2016.
Abu Dhabi’s hospitality market witnessed an increase across all KPI’s in February 2017. Last month, RevPAR increased by 21.7% when compared to the same time last year, mainly due to the increase in ADR from US$139 in February 2016 to US$163 in February 2017 along with an increase in average occupancy of 3.1% in February 2017 when compared to the same period last year.
In February 2017, Dubai’s hospitality market witnessed an increase in average occupancy by 4.0% when compared to the same time last year. The increase in occupancy may be a result of several events and exhibitions that took place in February such as the annual Dubai Jazz Festival, Gulf Food Exhibition, and the Bridal Show Event.
Kuwait’s hospitality market witnessed an 8.0% increase in occupancy from February 2016 rising from 46.6% to 54.6% in February 2017, causing an increase in RevPAR by 2.8% from US$119 in February 2016 to US$122 in February 2017. The increase in occupancy could be attributed to the Hala February festivals, which include shopping and nightly celebrations.
Last month, Doha was able to maintain its RevPAR performance at US$138. Although the hotels experienced a drop in ADR from US$207 in February 2016 to US$189 in February 2017, they succeeded in increasing occupancy by 6.4% compared to the same period last year. The increase in occupancy may have been encouraged by the Doha Jewelry & Watches exhibition where attendance comprises of visitors from the wider MENA region.
In Saudi Arabia, Riyadh and Jeddah’s hospitality markets witnessed a drop in RevPAR by 26.0% and 24.4% respectively when compared to the same period last year. The drop in Riyadh and Jeddah’s hotel performance could be attributed to the decreased number of conferences and exhibitions due to corporate spending cuts in both the public and private sectors.
Muscat’s hospitality market witnessed a decrease in RevPAR from US$167 in February 2016 to US$147 in February 2017, this was mainly due to the drop in ADR by 19.7% when compared to the same time last year. However, it should be noted that occupancy increased by 7.8% from 79.2% in February 2016 to 87.0% in February 2017.
The MENA hospitality market is expected to continue the trend of a softer performance but has seen improvements in a few cities due to annual exhibitions, events, and festivals that usually occur in the first quarter of the year.”