Hotels in the Emirates  are gearing up for one of the busiest Eid holidays, thanks to a large number of events and exhibitions that fall in October.
The first day of Eid Al Adha is expected to fall on October 15.
“Our hotels in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain are looking to achieve from 95 to 100 per cent occupancy during this coming Eid,” said Olivier Hick, vice president of operations for the Gulf and Levant countries at Accor. The French hotel operator features Novotel, Pullman and Sofitel in its portfolio.
According to Christopher Hewett, senior consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting, hotels in Abu Dhabi are expected to record an occupancy rate in excess of 80 per cent, while in Dubai, they could record well over the 90 per cent mark. Hotels that are close to shopping malls will benefit from their location, as they are likely to achieve an occupancy rate close to 100 per cent.
Hick said guests at hotels  located near malls stay up to five nights.
Mohamad Abdo, director of sales, MICE and corporate at The Rezidor Hotel Group, said occupancy for its Dubai properties will be between “90 per cent to 100 per cent”, while in Abu Dhabi, it expects to record occupancy rates “in the high 80s.” The group operates the brands Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts and Park Inn by Radisson, among others.
Hotels expect to post higher room rates this coming Eid . Hewett expects rates to be between “five and ten per cent” higher than the average rate last year, which stood at $347.
For Accor’s mid-market brand Ibis, room rates will start from Dh400, and for Pullman, from Dh900, according to Hick.
Hotels in the country expect to achieve higher revenues during the week of Eid, too.
“As per our forecast, we shall achieve an increase in revenue by 8 to 10 per cent compared to last year,” Hick said.
Also, The Rezidor Hotel Group will see “an increase on revenue of 30 per cent,” Abdo said.
A large number of visitors from the GCC countries, especially those from Saudi Arabia, are expected to visit the UAE during Eid, according to industry experts. This will be driven by events and shopping.
“This October, with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment’s increased emphasis on family-focused events to celebrate “Eid in Dubai - Eid Al Adha” across Dubai, we believe there is even more on offer for families visiting Dubai over this Eid holiday from nearby GCC countries,” said Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of strategy and tourism sector development at Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in an emailed statement.
Also, the 48-hour shopping offered by seven major malls in Dubai, including Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, is likely to reel in Saudi visitors, according to Hewett.
“This experience was extremely popular with Saudi visitors and it will likely help with attracting in excess of a million visitors this year,” he said.
Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, head of hotel advisory for the Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle, said he expects that Saudi guests
“would not be far from off the 100,000 hotel guests mark [this coming Eid].”
Exhibitions, such as Gitex Shopper and Cityscape are expected to play a role in attracting more visitors, according to Ben Mahmoud.
He expects that this year, Eid “will establish a new record.”
“Eid will fall this year between high-profile trade events and exhibitions and, therefore, hotels will be under pressure and could be expected to manage their revenue and optimise their rates to the fullest,” he said.
The GCC contributed over 42,000 travellers toward the total number of visitors over the Eid Al Fitr period, according to data by DTCM.
In addition, Saudi hotel guests reached 1.13 million last year.