Dubai's hotels surpass pre-COVID-19 profitability levels: STR 

Expo 2020, other public events help lift hotel occupancy rates 

Image used for illustrative purpose. Man talking on the phone in hotel room.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Man talking on the phone in hotel room.

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Dubai’s hotels saw a significant upturn in profitability in recent weeks, buoyed by the increase in demand during public events, including Expo 2020 Dubai, according to the latest analysis released by STR on Tuesday. 

The estimated gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) for Dubai’s hotels in October 2021 came in at 159 percent of the comparable period in 2019, the consultancy said in its monthly benchmarking release, which covers key markets in the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. 

Dubai’s GOPPAR for the month reached $178, while the total revenue per available room stood at $316. According to STR, Dubai is the only market to exceed its 2019 profit levels in the Middle East and Africa market.  

“[The growth is] helped by the opening of Expo 2020 and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021,” STR said. 

Dubai’s top-line performance was also lifted during the month, as the market saw its monthly room rates rise to a three-year high. Hotels in the emirate posted an average occupancy rate of 81.6 percent in October, while the average daily rate (ADR) reached 776.62 dirhams and the revenue per available room (RevPAR) stood at 633.66 dirhams. 

“The market’s absolute ADR and RevPAR levels were the highest for any month since January 2018 and February 2018, respectively, while the occupancy level was the highest since January 2020,” STR said.  

However, the other two major hospitality markets in the Middle East and Africa region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, did not exceed the 2019 profitability levels.  

Despite posting a lower performance compared to Dubai, hotels in the two neighbouring Gulf states still managed to realise strong profits.  

Saudi Arabia’s GOPPAR for October reached $42, which is at 80 percent of October 2019 levels, while Qatar’s GOPPAR hit $49, which is at 79 percent of the comparable period prior to the health outbreak. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing Seban Scaria)

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