Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
01 MARCH 2017 8:14 AM

Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: investment in Zanzibar; Dubai skyscraper hotel set to reopen this year; and more.

Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.

High rates draws interest to Zanzibar
Compared favorably with resort destination Mauritius, Zanzibar’s hotel industry seems to be a ripe target for investment dollars, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker. The archipelago, which consists of three main islands, will soon see greater airlift thanks to an airport expansion, which already enjoys strong interest from European travelers.

One of the top drivers of investor interest in the region is Zanzibar’s strong rates, but that momentum doesn’t translate to all properties, sources said.

“At the top end, (Zanzibar has) 65% occupancy at $320 ADR over the full year, but then it is a huge drop down to the next level in terms of ADR,” Tim P. Smith, managing partner of consulting and valuation at HVS, said.

Dubai skyscraper hotel to reopen in 2017
Roughly two years after being shuttered by a fire, officials with Emaar Properties have announced their Address Downtown Dubai will reopen in 2017, Reuters reports. The company is due a 1.2 billion Emirati dirham ($332.2 million) insurance payment as a result of the fire that gutted the hotel.

Middle East/Africa January performance and pipeline data
African hoteliers saw stronger growth for key performance metrics in January than their Middle Eastern counterparts, according to the latest data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR.

African hotels had a year-over-year occupancy increase of 4.5% to 50.6% for the month while average daily rate jumped 12.5% to $118.16 and revenue per available room increased 17.5% $59.76.

For the same period, hotels in the Middle East saw a 2.7% occupancy drop to 68.4%, an ADR decline of 8.4% to $177.81 and an 11% drop in RevPAR to $121.62.

January pipeline data shows significantly more supply growth in the Middle East.

The Middle East’s hotel industry saw a 5.1% increase in rooms under contract to 159.581 rooms in 556 hotels, while Africa had a 5.4% decrease to 58,850 rooms in 313 hotels under contract.

Change is in the air for African hotels
While struggles in commodity driven countries continue, African hotel markets are evolving with new demand drivers and a growing middle class, writes HNN’s Baker. Reporting from the Gulf & Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit, sources told Baker there are a number of markets and segments to keep an eye on in the continent.

“The biggest demand is from locals driving midscale and economy segments, and most assets are under 100 keys, although there is a gap for luxury products in key cities,” said Bani Haddad, managing director of Middle East development at Dream Hotel Group. “What is encouraging is that we are at the beginning of the cycle for many of these countries, and it is a beautiful market for investors.”

Deals and development

  • The 300-room Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir, owned by HOTAC, opened, marking Deutsche Hospitality’s 100th hotel in Egypt. The company also announced plans to convert the 304-room Cairo Pyramids Hotel in Giza and the 401-room Taba Hotel & Nelson Village in Sinai Peninsula to Steigenberger properties.
  • The 160-room Park Inn by Radisson Polokwane opened in Polokwane, South Africa.
  • AccorHotels has signed deals to open three hotels comprising 520 rooms in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia through 2021.
  • The 87-room Bon Hotel Grand Pela opened in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • The 400-room Marriott Hotel Al Forsan opened in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Bin Haider Group signed deals to open the 356-room Radisson Blu Hotel, International Media Production Zone, Dubai and the 290-room Radisson Blue Hotel, Dubai Studio City, both in 2019.
  • The 124-key Jannah Resort & Villas Ras Al Khaimah opened in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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