“We have seen a good first two months of 2021 and closed the first quarter with 79 per cent occupancy. Now, we see stabilisation because Ramadan is a bit quiet with around 75 per cent occupancy. I expect summer will also be stable around the same number and then Q4 will see occupancy level hitting 90 per cent,” Ashour said.
Depending on the sighting of the crescent, UAE residents are expected to have a 4-5 day holiday break during Eid Al Fitr.
Mamoun Hmedan, managing director for Mena and India at travel and hotel booking website Wego, noted that, with Eid Al Fitr holidays approaching, hotel searches in the UAE have also increased gradually.
“Hotels are offering special deals for the Eid holiday, including value-added offers for families. We expect that these offers will revive tourism and attract more tourists. Through our platform, we saw an increase in hotel searches by around 500 per cent, from March to April, for Eid al-Fitr period. We also noticed during the pandemic that most travellers are booking a week before their stay, therefore, we expect a noticeable increase in the number of bookings during the coming week,” he said.
According to Wego data, hotels topped the list of searches with 82 per cent, followed by resorts with 12 per cent, then hotel apartments by four per cent, and the length of stay that travellers are looking for is around four days.
Khalifa Bin Braik, managing director at Majid Al Futtaim Hotels, said hotels have exceeded pre-pandemic average rates and occupancy levels.
“This year started off strong with demand from key source markets. With Expo 2020 later this year, we expect strong demand for hotel rooms in Dubai… We expect hotels to achieve pre-pandemic occupancy levels in 2022,” he said.
Colin A. Baker, director for Middle East at StayWell Hospitality Group, said they have seen a steady climb from domestic travellers with a substantial boost in residential guests.
Jasmeet Bakshi, group event director of The Hotel Show, said occupancy level in Dubai hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels yet, but posits the city is "certainly" moving in the right direction.
“According to forecast analysis carried out by Tourism Economics, we could see a return of 5.6 per cent global economic growth this year, taking into account the vaccine rollout, employment recovery, pent-up demand supported by consumer savings, and the eventual removal of travel restrictions," he said.
"A combination of these factors in tandem will hopefully translate to higher occupancy levels as we move into H2 of 2021 and beyond,” he added.
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