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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Survey: Dubai hotels hit hardest in region in first half

DUBAI: Dubai hotels saw the biggest falls in revenue in the region in the first half of 2009, according to a survey of key Middle East cities published yesterday.

Hotels in 22 cities in the region witnessed an average 10.9 per cent decrease in occupancies and a 17.2 per cent drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR), an industry benchmark, said a report by US hospitality research firm STR Global and Deloitte & Touche Middle East.

Occupancy rates in Dubai, the region's trade and tourism hub, fell 12.9 per cent compared to the year-earlier period, and RevPAR plunged 35 per cent.

Dubai, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to its beaches and luxury hotels, predominantly from Europe and Russia, continued to suffer as the global financial crisis bit into the spending power of those countries.

Hotels in Oman's capital Muscat were among those badly hit as they experience "high seasonality in occupancies and revenues". Occupancies were down 21.7 per cent and RevPAR 16.6 per cent in the first six months of the year.

Lebanon's main tourism destination, Beirut, remained the top performer in the period, as it enjoyed "increased political stability". Beirut's occupancy levels soared 69.4 per cent and RevPAR surged 125.2 per cent, due to a significant inflow of tourists, the survey said.

By Reuters

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