Doha hotels see highest occupancy in three years

August 03, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

DOHA: Hotels in Doha recorded the highest occupancy levels seen in over three years, according to a MENA chain hotels market review.

The latest HotStats survey of full service hotels in five MENA cities, commented on by TRI Hospitality Consulting Middle East, shows average occupancy at four and five star hotels in Doha reached 76.7 percent in May 2014, rising 11.2 percentage points compared to the same period last year. This rate is expected to push further up in the coming next months.

Despite a decline in average room rates (ARR) of 4.1 percent to $222.19, the growth in demand drove revenue per available room (RevPAR) up 12.2 percent to $170.48. Coupled with increased performance in the rooms department, the 15.6 percent rise in total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) was supported by double-digit growth in Food & Beverages (F&B) revenues which comprised 47.5 percent 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 percent during the month to $184.78.

“Historically, Doha’s occupancy levels have ranged from 67-68 percent in May, however, this year occupancies are pushing 77 percent. This level has not been experienced in the past three years, and exceeds performance levels witnessed during peak periods of demand,” commented Peter Goddard, Managing Director of TRI Hospitality Consulting.

Hoteliers were able to capitalize on developments in the events and airline industries to increase overall yields. Growth was seen in the meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (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, Goddard noted.

Dubai’s hotel industry benefited from solid leisure demand coupled with several high-profile international vents during the month of May. The city maintained strong occupancies of 82.2 percent, marginally lower than the previous year by 0.9 percentage points. However, average rates increased 4.6 percent to $301.09, boosting RevPAR 3.5 percent to $247.61.

High demand drove growth in F&B and conferencing revenues, which supported the 4.1 percent rise in TRevPAR to $464.14. In turn, profitability grew 5.8 percent reaching $208.15, the highest amongst the five MENA markets surveyed by HotStats.

In Dubai, hoteliers yielded the highest growth in average rates from the MICE segment, where ARR increased 18.4 percent on the back of strong demand.

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