Dubai remains popular staycation spot; sanitisation standards get a thumbs-up

Staff report/Dubai
Filed on June 2, 2021
File photo

Eight in 10 people staycationing in Dubai confident of sanitisation levels in hotels

Nearly 90 per cent of consumers in the UAE are satisfied with their stay in Dubai hotels since the beginning of the pandemic while eight in 10 people are confident hotels apply the required level of sanitisation, according to KPMG’s report on Dubai’s hospitality industry.

More than half – 55 per cent – of consumers surveyed were willing to stay at a hotel in Dubai, notwithstanding Covid-19, with 85 per cent willing to return.

“Dubai’s popularity as a staycation destination has been key in supporting the emirate’s hospitality sector. Though short- to medium-term challenges remain, Dubai’s successful management of the pandemic and the efforts put in by individual players have helped recovery. New developments, such as Ain Dubai and the Museum of the Future, successful mass immunization, and safety protocols followed by properties will increase Dubai’s appeal as a safe destination,” said Sidharth Mehta, partner, head of real estate, KPMG Lower Gulf.

Despite the odds, the UAE recorded the second-highest occupancy rates globally at 54 per cent, behind China, in 2020.

Dubai’s occupancy rates steadily improved since April 2020, touching a 12-month high of 69 per cent last December, dipping to 59.4 per cent this April. While international arrivals plummeted, the number of room nights sold to domestic tourists increased by 107 per cent, surging from 2.74 million in 2019 to 5.68 million in 2020.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Dubai grew by more than 550 per cent during 2020. After hitting a low of $17.2 (Dh63.18) at the start of the pandemic, RevPAR reached a peak of $114.7 (Dh421.32) in December 2020, coinciding with the holiday period. As of April 2021, RevPAR stood at $92.9 (Dh341.22).

The Dubai Assured stamp launched in June 2020, with the goal of assuring visitors that hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and attractions are in line with international health and safety standards and protocols, also served to build guest confidence.

More than three-quarters – 77 per cent – of those planning to stay in a Dubai hotel would consider whether a property received a Dubai Assured stamp, certifying its sanitisation protocols.

KPMG said Dubai will likely remain a regional and global tourism hub. Leisure and business destinations around the world will only see travel increase, as vaccine rollouts continue and economies gradually recover.

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