Hotel prices slump in UAE

Hotel prices in the UAE fell by 15.5 percent at the end of last year, according to data released February 5.

Dubai led the decline, with hoteliers suffering a fall in revenue per room available by as much as 27.5 percent. Abu Dhabi, however, proved more resistant, with hotel income falling by only four percent. MKG Hospitality, the company behind the analysis, said that Abu Dhabi was boosted by its proactive approach to hotel development.

According to the data, other Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar all posted double-digit percentage falls in revenue. Kuwait, however, ended the year on a high, experiencing an upswing towards the end of the year. Lebanon too showed a strong 2009, boosted by the resumption of tourism to the area.

MKG's research is backed up by travel consultancy Hogg Robinson, which this week released details of the prices paid by its clients. It says that Dubai's average hotel room rates fell 21 percent from AED 1241.52 (€246.90) to AED 983.97 (€195.68) between 2008 and 2009. In Abu Dhabi, which Hogg Robinson believes is the world's second most expensive city, average room prices fell by 1 percent from AED 1,303.30 (€259.19) to AED 1,285 (€255.55).

The Middle East has grown rapidly as a business destination, transport and tourism hub over the past decade although it posted a 6 percent fall in tourism throughout 2009 according to the UN World Tourism Organisation. Travel to the area is expected to rebound strongly in 2010 however, as the global economy recovers.

http://www.mkg-group.com/
http://www.hrgworldwide.com

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