Government initiatives boost revenues of Dubai’s city hotels
Government initiatives to drive tourism numbers in the summer months has led to an upswing in business for Dubai’s city hotels, according to Naif Zureikat, general manager of Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien.
Until recently, the months of May to September have seen a drop in occupancy and an accompanying rates slowdown, but Zureikat believes that the situation has levelled out for 2004.
He said: “The creation of Dubai Summer Surprises, combined with favourable rates from the airlines and an upturn in in-bound summer business from Arabia, has seen occupancy levels rise in the city during these months.
“It is not just occupancy levels that are rising; we are filling these rooms at healthy revenues, allowing for a more consistent stream of business through the year.”
Occupancy at Al Sondos Suites was 85 per cent for the first quarter of 2004, compared with 75 per cent for the corresponding period in 2003.
Meanwhile, average room rate for the same period has increased to Dhs 570 nett, with a revpar figure of Dhs 478, compared with Dhs 395 nett and Dhs 295 revpar for 2003. Revpar is the industry figure for measuring revenue per available room.
According to Zureikat, a central location in Dubai city and spacious suites have been the key selling points for the property, but long-term success has been more dependent on its appeal to specific market segments.
“During recent years, the Jumeira beach properties have outstripped the city hotels in terms of rates and revenues, but Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien has proved that there is a market for a superior suite accommodation product within the city.”
At present, 50 per cent of Al Sondos’ business comes from the regional GCC FIT market, and Zureikat said that both long-stay corporate travellers and GCC groups and families see the hotel’s niche product offering as key.
Opened just two years ago, the all-suite, 11-storey building, located opposite the Deira City Centre mall in Deira is already well above its projected budgets for the year, and has an average room rate that is higher than beach hotels at times, again emphasising the success of the hotel’s positioning.
“During the past few years, hotels along the beachfront grew tremendously in popularity, outstripping city properties in terms of rates and revenues, but Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien has proved that there is a market for a superior suite accommodation product within the city,” concluded Zureikat.
With just 106 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites, the hotel twins international management efficiencies with an intimate atmosphere, a combination that not only appeals to the local GCC market but also guests staying for longer periods who look for a comfortable base in the centre of Dubai. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)