Dubai: Hotel occupancy hit 15-year high in March, thanks to Expo 2020

The mega event expedited the recovery of the local economy after the Covid-19 pandemic


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 12 Apr 2022, 11:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 12 Apr 2022, 10:45 PM

Hotel occupancy in Dubai reached a 15-year high last month on the back of Expo 2020.

Dubai’s hotel industry reported 90 per cent or better occupancy in any given month for the first time since 2007 in March, driven by the final weeks of Expo 2020, which concluded on March 31.

Expo 2020 Dubai recorded over 24 million visits during the six-month-long event and welcomed 192 countries. The mega event expedited the recovery of the local economy after the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the hospitality sector, retail, tourism, aviation, and many other industries benefited from the Expo.

A recent report commissioned by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce found that 76.5 per cent of companies in Dubai said Expo 2020 Dubai boosted business growth, while 73.5 per cent entered into new partnerships.

According to STR, occupancy level reached 91.7 per cent in March while average daily rates hit Dh891.46 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) at Dh817.9.

“Like past renditions of Expo in Shanghai (2010) and Milan (2015), the end of the ‘mega event’ proved to be the busiest for Dubai. The last time monthly occupancy in Dubai reached 90 per cent was March 2007 when there were roughly 90,000 less rooms in the market,” it said.

Additionally, the ADR level was Dubai’s second-highest of the pandemic era, behind December 2021, when it reached Dh948.56, and market RevPAR was the highest since December 2015.


“When looking at daily data, occupancy was higher than 90 per cent for 25 days during the month with a peak of 96.0 per cent on March 24,” STR said.

There were 759 hotels and hotel establishments accounted for in Dubai in January 2022 as compared to 711 in January last year.

Guest nights in January were at 3.04 million during the same month this year compared to 2.65 million in January 2021, according to a Dubai Chamber’s recent report.

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