Most UAE hotels to end 2020 with less than 50% full-year occupancy

But market to benefit from build up to World Expo in 2021, says Colliers

Hotel Room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Hotel Room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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It’s been months since international flights have resumed, but many hotels are still feeling the brunt of the pandemic.

In its latest forecast released on Sunday, Colliers International indicated that most hotels across the UAE will end the year with less than half-empty occupancy levels, as uncertainty in the hospitality market continues.

The hospitality sector has been among the worst hit by the health outbreak, as international tourists and business travellers put overseas trips on hold.

Colliers’ analysis showed that all the hotels monitored in the UAE, except for the ones located in Ras Al Khaimah City, will have full-year 2020 occupancy rates at no more than 48 percent, registering up to 50 percent decline when compared to last year.

Colliers acknowledged that the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the travel and tourism market in the region.

“COVID-19 continues to weigh upon the travel and tourism sector, with government and industry bodies alike looking for a path towards a sustained recovery. While restrictions on movement and international travel have begun to ease, controlled and consistent growth will be the key to achieving previous levels of demand,” Colliers said.

However, it noted that the UAE market is expected to benefit from the build up to the hosting of the World Expo next year, while the overall market in the region is expected to start the recovery in the fourth quarter of the year.

Full-year forecast

Hotels located in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai have suffered the biggest drop in bookings this year, with full-year occupancy expected to average only around 39 percent, followed by properties on Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) area, at 40 percent occupancy rate, on average.

Hotels in Dubai Creek and Festival City, which have also experienced low guest traffic, will have full-year occupancy rates at just 41 percent, about 49 percent down from last year’s occupancy.

The clear winner among the domestic markets, however, is Ras Al Khaimah City, where hotels are expected to complete 2020 with an average occupancy of 70 percent.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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