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Coronavirus Pandemic

Dubai residents explore staycations as coronavirus forces them to cancel travel plans

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 27, 2020


Summer vacations are off the table for most people this year because of Covid.

Many Dubai holiday homeowners feel staycations, spending a few days or the weekend in the city in a luxury property with loved ones is picking up momentum.

Summer vacations are off the table for most people this year, as many put off travelling to avoid getting infected by Covid-19.

Many holiday resorts are adopting the best approach to support the hospitality industry and its need for sustainable tourism.

"As a business, we have pivoted our model over the past few months from marketing and selling our stays to international travellers to targeting expats and locals staying in Dubai. We have a wide range of guests at the moment that is staying with us and we expect the occupancy to increase in the following weeks once school holidays start," said Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of BNB ME - a holiday home management company.

"Our current guests are professional couples who are looking to take a break and get away from their current day to day life. We have offerings for them in apartments that have a nice pool, gym and sometimes pool table and table tennis area. This is our introductory staycation that we are offering and it starts from about Dh900 for the weekend including breakfast.

Gauging the mood of the clients and luring potential guests with varied offers to ramp up occupancy, businesses are customising requirements to suit people's needs. "There is no limit to the budget as we can also offer a guest a fully serviced villa with a private beach and pool on the Palm Jumeirah and if they prefer to be in the city they can get a penthouse downtown adjacent to the Dubai Mall. We have adjusted our business model to suit the needs of our local customers at the present situation," said Mahtani.

Tomas Dolezal, owner of Elite Royal Apartment, said: "I have noticed a surge in queries for properties with private facilities as due to the pandemic, people are increasingly apprehensive of sharing common facilities.

"In properties that offer premium accommodations, I am experiencing standard pre-Covid-19 levels of occupancy; the guests are almost all from local communities as there are still international travel restrictions. So, unlike previous years where there were ~80 per cent international tourists and ~20 per cent people coming in locally, the premises are fully used by local clientele, who search for staycations in Dubai and prefer holiday homes to hotels," he said.

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