Hotels in Doha experienced exceptional growth in occupancy during the month of May, according to the latest HotStats survey of full service hotels in five MENA cities commented on by TRI Hospitality Consulting Middle East.
Average occupancy at four and five star hotels in the city reached 76.7%, rising 11.2 percentage points compared to the same period last year. Despite a decline in average room rates (ARR) of 4.1% to US$222.19, the growth in demand drove revenue per available room (RevPAR) up 12.2% to US$170.48. Coupled with increased performance in the rooms department, the 15.6% rise in total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) was supported by doubledigit growth in F&B revenues which comprised 47.5% of total revenues. Strong top-line performance in conjunction with the 2.1 percentage point drop in payroll costs boosted profitability levels by 23.1% during the month to US$184.78.
“Historically, Doha’s occupancy levels have ranged from 67 -68% in May, however, this year occupancies are pushing 77%. This level has not been experienced in the past three years, and exceeds performance levels witnessed during peak periods of demand. Hoteliers were able to capitalise on developments in the events and airline industries to increase overall yields. Growth was seen in the MICE segment where the country’s largest ICT event, QITCOM 2014, attracted 11,000 visitors. Additionally, Qatar Airways accelerated the expansion of its network from the end of April through May, with the addition of four international routes” commented Peter Goddard, Managing Director of TRI Hospitality Consulting.
Rates in Dubai driven by MICE and leisure segments
Dubai’s hotel industry benefited from solid leisure demand coupled with several high-profile international events during the month of May. The city maintained strong occupancies of 82.2%, marginally lower than the previous year by 0.9 percentage points. However, average rates increased 4.6% to US$301.09, boosting RevPAR 3.5% to US$247.61. High demand drove growth in F&B and conferencing revenues, which supported the 4.1% rise in TRevPAR to US$464.14. In turn, profitability grew 5.8% reaching US$208.15, the highest amongst the five MENA markets surveyed by HotStats.
“Hoteliers yielded the highest growth in average rates from the MICE segment, where ARR increased 18.4% on the back of strong demand. The International Design Exhibition, Beauty World Middle East, Arabian Travel Market and Dubai Airport Show collectively drew 70,000 attendees and allowed hoteliers to command a premium within the MICE segment.
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