UAE hospitality sector expects big influx of tourists during FIFA World Cup 2022

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Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor

The UAE hospitality sector is witnessing significant growth as the country has welcomed millions of tourist  during the current year. The UAE government’s proactive policies and initiatives like easing of visa regulations have accelerated the growth of tourism and hospitality industry in the country.

“The first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East’ is nearing, and it promises a boom in business for UAE hotels where hoteliers like Suha Hospitality reporting a 96.9% occupancy rate across four of its properties since the start of November,” said Anthony Wright, Area General Manager, Suha Hospitality.

He added, “With the UAE expecting a total draw of 1.2 million tourists, the hospitality industry has been gearing up to accommodate this large influx of people, through the government’s proactive policies and the relaxing of visa regulations. The country’s hospitality landscape has benefitted the region as a whole due to its growth of visitors, which can be monitored by progress in key performance indicators.”

Wright explained, “Another factor that plays an enticing role to potential visitors is the interesting competitive environment of hotel business rates and occupancies. For example, the rates vary drastically from resort property to downtown or business hotels, and despite increasing occupancies prices fluctuating anywhere between Dhs375 to Dhs725 during the “in-season.”

“Contrastingly, the landscape witnesses a drop in occupancies from 15% to 25% during summer, while maintaining stability throughout the year across the different segments of commercial accommodations. Most hotels, including Suha Hospitality have seen an increase in last-minute bookings and are expecting a 100% occupancy rate closer to the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022.”

Recent research suggests that UAE hotels welcomed close to six million visitors that spent 25 million nights in hotels during the first quarter of 2022, a 10% increase when comparing the same pre-pandemic period in 2019. Furthermore, as per Smith Travel report 2022 (STR), in the second quarter of 2022 the supply in the industry increased by 6% as demand expanded by 18.8%, subsequently resulting in a total occupancy gain of 12%, which is phenomenal for this region.

He further said, “The progressive growth has resonated across the region but this quarter, which is generally the strongest quarter, hotels are expecting a strong 95% occupancy. Suha Hospitality has optimised this with four strategically located hotels across Dubai. The geographical location of these hotels play a vital role in their daily or monthly rate, varying from Dhs275 to Dhs700 per night, from Al Jaddaf, to Creek to Mina Rashid and subsequently to Jumeirah Beach Residences respectively.”

He concluded,” Suha Hospitality’s offering of spacious hotel apartments and catering to all the guest’s needs are an added factor to entice customers besides being conveniently placed across the city. The state-of-the-art decor and eclectic furniture placed in each unit, makes Suha Hospitality an easy pick during a demanding FIFA World Cup 2022, and anticipate that all the units will remain sold out during the upcoming football season.”

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