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Middle East hotels turn in mixed results in October

Above, the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain. Hotel occupancy in Bahrain went up by 9.2 percent to 49.2 percent in October (Courtesy Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain)
JEDDAH: Middle East hotels in October turned in mixed results across key performance indicators, industry tracker STR said in its latest report on the region’s hospitality sector.
The STR report likewise noted year-on-year improvements in Africa’s hotel business, noting gains in the industry’s bellwether indices.
While Middle East hotels’ occupancy rates in October rose an annualized 3.3 percent to 64.9 percent, average daily rates (ADR) however fell 4 percent to $163.27 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) slipped 0.8 percent to $106.04. ADR represents the average rental income per paid occupied room in a given time period while RevPAR, derived by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate, assesses a hotel’s operations and its ability to fill its available rooms at an average rate.
In Africa, occupancy rates rose by 7.6 percent to 62.5 percent while ADR improved by 8.4 percent to $105.89 and RevPAR higher by 16.7 percent to $66.14.
As a focus market, STR reported that hotel occupancy in Bahrain went up by 9.2 percent to 49.2 percent in October although average daily rates were down 8.2 percent to 58.71 Bahraini dinars. The return for each available room was almost unchanged at 28.86 dinars during the month.
“The year-over-year increase in occupancy came in comparison with a low base from October 2016,” STR said in its report. “The country’s absolute occupancy level was helped by a pair of events in Manama: the Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers 25th Conference (9-11 October) and the Bahrain International Defense Exhibition and Conference (16-18 October).”
“The absolute ADR level was the lowest for an October in Bahrain since 2006,” STR added.
Bahrain tourism authorities recently announced that $10 billion would be invested to open 15 five-star hotels in the country between now and 2020. There are now currently 17 five-star hotels and up to 63 four-star hotels operating in the Gulf state, which has been marketing itself as a luxury tourist destination.
In Egypt, hotel occupancy in October improved by a hefty 32 percent year-on-year to 57 percent, boosting average daily rates by almost 74 percent to 1,151.26 Egyptian pounds and more than doubling average revenue by room at 129.3 percent to 656.07 Egyptian pounds.
“The devaluation of the Egyptian pound led to the highest October ADR value on record for the country [while] occupancy growth was inflated by a comparison with Egypt’s second-worst October occupancy month on record (43.2% in 2016),” STR said. “The country continues to recover from security concerns, and demand (roomnights sold) has grown by double digits in nine of 10 months in 2017.”

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