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Hotels see spike in Eid bookings

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 6, 2021
Residents and visitors currently in the UAE are looking for locations where they can spend quality time with family and friends in a safe environment

The UAE government’s stringent safety measures, innovative domestic campaigns, and visionary leadership have played a vital role in supporting businesses in their recovery, while safeguarding residents


Hotels across the UAE have revealed that they are geared up to cater to record visitor numbers over the upcoming Eid break, with many residents eager to book a holiday staycation for themselves and their families.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Tim Cordon, area senior vice president, Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, pointed out that occasions such as Eid are usually driven by last minute bookings, but, over the past weeks, the group has already started seeing an increased demand. “While location and experiences used to be the main deciding factor, today consumers also want to be reassured that hotels are taking their health and safety seriously. With that in mind, it is our aim to ensure that we elevate our promise, by maintaining and enhancing hygiene standards globally. Consumers need to believe in your brand, in your health and safety commitment and that you will deliver on your promises.”

Similarly, Jan Moenkedieck, GM of Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, said that Eid is a busy holiday for the hospitality sector and that the property is well-placed in terms of occupancy at the moment. “We have the perfect environment where our guests are provided with the personalized care and comfort that they require during a luxury holiday. The desire to travel again is in all of us, so short staycations and even day-cations have been quite popular. It is evident that residents and visitors currently in the UAE are looking for locations where they can spend quality time with family and friends in a safe environment.”

Moenkedieck added that the hotel is an iconic landmark in Ras Al Khaimah. “Some of our guests experienced the area with us for the first time, and many are with us over and over again. We are on a pristine beach to one side, on a lush golf course to the other, and close to an astounding mountain range. This makes for a unique destination and eclectic experiences. Moreover, we have an exciting range of restaurants, an award-winning spa, and sprawling, low density guest areas that everyone is looking for these days. As a result of this, we have been able to attract a steady flow of domestic guests into our resort.”

Stijn Bastiaens, VP and commercial director, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton, observed that, since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a rise in staycations at the group’s UAE properties. “Residents looking for an escape from the ordinary have opted to stay closer to home and this Eid, we are ready to welcome guests with a range of staycation offers. From poolside relaxation at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, to theme park access at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, to sophisticated city breaks at Conrad Dubai, our portfolio offers something for everyone. All our offers are backed by the Hilton CleanStay programme, and we can’t wait to welcome residents as they take a well-deserved break to reconnect with loved ones this Eid.”

Cordon also shed light on how the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the hospitality industry in the UAE. He described 2020 as “a year of revelations, rude awakenings, and most-definitely some valuable lessons.”

“With uncertainties over when to travel, where to travel, or how long to travel, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way consumers look at their travel plans,” he said. “Whilst typical vacations might be a far-fetched idea in times of a pandemic, a staycation is the optimal way for people to take a break and change their daily environment. No matter if it’s a road trip or visiting a different emirate, there is so much left to explore and experience, and now is the time to do so. While it may not be a trip to a tropical island or mountainside, a staycation should be fun as it is relaxing and allows you to recreate the experience of a vacation away from home.”

He also observed that the UAE’s tourism industry is well-positioned, and that the government’s stringent safety measures, innovative domestic campaigns, and visionary leadership have played a vital role in supporting businesses in their recovery while safeguarding the people.

“Although passenger flights have resumed operations, varying regulations, and quarantine requirements, which differ from country to country, can make international travel a tricky process,” Cordon said. “Looking at it from the domestic side, many residents have been opting for mini getaways and staycations, preferring to stay within their country. Looking at the upcoming weeks, we can already see a higher demand, as many are looking forward to take a break over the Eid holidays.”

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.





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