MENA hotel occupancy rates see some signs of recovery, says Colliers

August forecast shows occupancy continues to improve year-on-year 

Image used for illustrative purpose. A nice yellow hotel room with one bed.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A nice yellow hotel room with one bed.

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Hotel occupancy in the MENA region continues to improve, with ‘controlled and consistent growth’ key to recovery,  said Colliers. 

“As we move through 2021, we begin to observe several markets build on recovery began in Q4 2020. Ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic by government entities and other key touristic stakeholders has informed how markets open and close. While travel restrictions are easing, controlled and consistent growth is key to recovering, and in the future, improving on the hospitality performance in the key markets,” said Colliers. 

In its August 2021 MENA Hotels monthly market forecast, the real estate consultancy firm said the emirate of Sharjah achieved a 4 percent per month average increase of occupancy over the last 12 months. 

“Although, the rate of recovery has slowed in the second quarter of 2021, the core strategy of leveraging the domestic market has been critical to this recovery as inbound visitation improves,” Colliers said. 

Overall, in the UAE, The Palm hotels will see the biggest improvement in occupancy year-on-year from 2020 to 2021, by 61 percent to 69 percent, with Abu Dhabi beach the smallest improvement, by 18 percent to 56 percent. 

The company said in Saudi Arabia, a restricted observance of Hajj in 2021, limited to 60,000 pilgrims from within the kingdom, resulted in significantly reduced demand in the Holy Cities. 

The Riyadh market improved, due to demand for four-star and lower positioned five-star hotels, which contributed to an improved outlook for the full year. 

Jeddah is expected to see the greatest increase by 39 percent to 54 percent, with Al Khobar the smallest increase by four percent to 56 percent. 

In Egypt, return of demand from Gulf residents benefitted the Cairo market, with occupancy forecast to soar by 112 percent in Hurghada to 51 percent, but in Bahrain, new entry restrictions on 19 additional countries has had a significant impact on inbound tourism recovery. 

However, the Bahrain market is still expected to achieve a year-on-year improvement of 53 percent in 2021, Colliers said.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Brinda Darasha)

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