Doha, Qatar: The hospitality sector witnessed an upward tick during the final quarter of 2023 as hotel apartments in the country recorded a higher occupancy rate as compared to the same period in 2022.

Residential tenants became increasingly drawn towards the convenience and affordability of living in Qatar’s serviced apartments.

Planning & Statistics Authority (PSA) in its recent data indicated that the average occupancy in deluxe hotel apartments’ surged from 60 percent in December 2022 to 76 percent in December 2023, while standard hotel apartments rose from 52 percent to 73 percent during the same period.

Experts at Qatar’s homegrown property search portal, hapondo, attribute this positive performance to the competitive prices that hotel apartments have been offering to take a greater share of the traditional tenant market.

Ahmad Al Khanji, CEO and Co-Founder of hapondo stated: “When property seekers search for apartment rental, it’s not just about the lowest rent but also value for money that they take into careful consideration.”

Hotels are already known for great service and facilities, and the offer can become irresistible if the difference were to be small,” Al Khanji added.

In its latest publication of Qatar’s Property Report Q4 2023, the data reveals a narrow difference between the median rent of one-bedroom (1BR) apartments and hotel apartments in areas such as Al Sadd and Al Mansoura, where the premium was 13.3 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively.

It said: “This meant that a tenant paying for the 1BR median rent of QR7,000 monthly in Al Mansoura only needed to add QR500 to live in a hotel apartment.”

However, the median rents of hotel apartments in Salata, Umm Ghuwailina, and Old Airport listed on the property real estate portal were, in fact, more affordable than regular apartments during the fourth quarter of 2023. “In Umm Ghuwailina and Old Airport, the median rent of a 1BR hotel apartment was 28 percent lower than a regular apartment. A 2BR hotel apartment unit was 14 percent more affordable than a traditional apartment,” analysts at hapondo noted.

On the other hand, during Q4 2023, Al Mansoura and Old Airport areas were ranked 5th and 8th in the most searched locations for apartment rental on hapondo – a jump from their 7th and 11th places in the previous quarter.

On the other hand, the premium of a hotel apartment situated in Lusail’s Marina District compared to a traditional apartment was still substantial at 42 percent for a one-bedroom and 34 percent for a 2 bedroom apartment.

Researchers state that hotels across the country are facing occupancy challenges to continue seeking out a bigger slice of the residential market to improve their business performance in 2024.

However, according to PSA statistics, the average occupancy towards the end of last year for Qatar’s hotels stood at 72 percent, while five-star and four-star hotels recorded 67 percent and 75 percent occupancy, respectively, during the period.

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