UAE hotels primed and ready for long Eid break

While staycations remain a popular option, hospitality experts forecast an influx of international travellers into the UAE, as confidence in the local authorities’ handling of the pandemic remains at an all-time high



Hospitality, experts identified an increasing demand for staycations, especially after two years of travel restrictions in and around the country - KT file
Hospitality, experts identified an increasing demand for staycations, especially after two years of travel restrictions in and around the country - KT file
by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 27 Apr 2022, 5:06 PM

Hotels across the emirates are ready to welcome the surge in visitors that will arrive over the long Eid break, with many stating that they are logging in full occupancies over the holiday.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, many hospitality experts highlighted how the UAE Government’s swift response in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic had put the country’s hospitality sector firmly on the path towards recovery, and inspired confidence in both travellers and visitors.

“We are forecasting very high occupancies and are confident that we will be fully booked,” said Peter Katusak-Huszvar, GM at W Dubai – The Palm. He noted that the property has experienced a “steady and successful recovery” and has become more popular due to a higher demand post-pandemic.

“The hotel has seen an increase in rates by 47 per cent versus pre-pandemic levels and we are well on our way to exceeding pre-pandemic revenue numbers. With the rise of staycations, W Dubai – The Palm has seen a significant growth in revenue from our UAE residents as well as a healthy mix of segments including wholesale and retail from international markets,” he said.

“The trend is always a last-minute plan, everything comes at a slower pace,” added Bruno Guilloux, GM at voco Bonnington Dubai. “We are expecting a strong occupancy during Eid as people are freer to travel.

“We see an improvement from the previous year’s performance and we do have a positive outlook towards recovery,” he said. “While it is still behind the normal, we are standing strong in the recovery cycle. This is all thanks as well to the large support by the UAE Government for the implementation of the Covid-19 health and safety regulations within the country, and the advantages of the travel corridor with various countries, combined with the right rates and promotions that we offer to our guests.”

Guilloux also identified an increasing demand for staycations, especially after two years of travel restrictions in and around the country. “There is also an inflow of foreign tourists, especially from Europe and the Arab countries. Some residents might prefer to stay rather than take a short trip due to some ongoing situation overseas.”

Similarly, Robert El Khoury, VP of Sales & Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels, said: “We have seen a strong appetite for staycations over the Eid holidays, and are almost close to being fully booked for most of our resorts in Dubai. I believe that staycations will remain a popular choice, though of course, there will also be residents who will capitalise on the extended Eid break to travel overseas.”

Further highlighting the trends in the industry, he explained that due to Covid-19-induced travel restrictions over the past two years, domestic tourism has become a popular choice amongst UAE citizens and residents looking for a vacation or a short break.

“Our properties in Dubai have increasingly seen an influx of staycationers,” he said. “We have seen strong performances across the entire JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio, with some of our resorts improving on their occupancy and ADR compared to 2019. 2022 has seen a positive trajectory so far with the first few months achieving better numbers than both 2021 and 2019 across the board.”

Kirsten Parkins, director of Sales and Marketing at the Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, also revealed that the property had “seen great numbers” since Q4 2021, and that the hotel is well on its way to reaching pre-pandemic levels.

“We are looking forward to continued growth into the Eid period, and future months, as the hotel is located in the buzzing district of Dubai’s International Financial Centre which is great for leisure and business travelers alike,” Parkins said. “We are looking forward to a busy Eid period and to welcoming back our regular guests. This Eid break is a great opportunity for local residents to visit and experience the amazing property in the heart of the financial district.”

Parkins added that due to the hotel’s offering, and proximity to busy hotspots, the hotel continues to see many local residents from around the UAE opt for staycations. “However, this Eid break we are expecting to welcome more GCC travellers in the city. A hidden gem in the financial district, The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC is perfect for a staycation to experience the best of Dubai. A great launch pad to many activities, the hotel is close to the Museum of the Future and amidst a buzzing art and food district. Curated for a relaxing an indulgent experience, the Ritz-Carlton, DIFC is the perfect place to celebrate the Eid holiday.”

Peter Katusak-Huszvar also noted that domestic tourism has “massively” helped the UAE hospitality sector recover as the country came out of the lockdowns.

“This year, I believe that UAE residents will travel more frequently out of the country as different markets open up and relax their regulations,” he said. “However, this also means we will see an influx of international travellers into the UAE as confidence in the local authorities’ handling of the pandemic is at an all-time high. W Dubai – The Palm always has bold and fabulous packages from day-caytions to staycations. Perfect for city sun seekers looking to hit escape - there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

rohma@khaleejtimes.com


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