Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
29 MARCH 2017 7:16 AM

Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Continued oil woes; Abu Dhabi supply; South African strength; and more.

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

Abu Dhabi works to absorb new supply
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates has seen a glut of new supply, as the market works to adapt to a new set of demand drivers beyond the energy industry, but a rush of similar properties is creating a new challenge for the region, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, said he believes the area can adapt, as it has done so in the past.

“Abu Dhabi was business-oriented, but the strategy is now on leisure and mainly on (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), although 80% of our MICE offering is centered at the Abu Dhabi Convention Center,” Ghobash said. “Each emirate presents themselves as different tourist destinations, but there are similarities. Many tourists stay in Abu Dhabi and go to (attraction) Dubai Parks across the border. It is good for us; it is good for them; it is good for the United Arab Emirates.”

OPEC failed to avoid new oil tumble
Oil prices saw their latest drop this weak even as OPEC producers pledge to “consider extending their output-cut deal,” according to a report form Bloomberg. The relatively low price of oil and gas have been a drag for several markets in both the Middle East and Africa of late.

Five OPEC countries, including Kuwait and Iraq, have announced support to continue curtailing production beyond June when the initial deal was set to expire.

Middle East/Africa February performance and pipeline data
Strong occupancy overcame dropping rates in the Middle East to push up revenue for February, while African hotels saw increases in each of the three key performance metrics, according to the latest data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR.

Year-over-year performance for the month Middle Eastern hotels saw occupancy increase 3.2% to 71.7% while average daily rate fell 1.8% to $176.07, combining for a 1.3% revenue per available room increase to $126.25. African hotels saw occupancy jump 5.5% to 58.8%, ADR was up 10.2% to $109.83 and RevPAR was up 16.2% to $64.55.

In terms of pipeline, the Middle East saw a 1.3% increase in rooms under contract to 153,460 rooms in 540 hotels, while Africa saw a 6.1% decrease to 58,374 rooms in 309 hotels.

Signs of continued strength in South Africa
Extremely strong rate growth has spurred similarly strong revenue growth in February in South Africa, according to STR data, which was largely fueled by weakened currency. Year-over-year RevPAR was up 7.8% for the month as ADR grew 7.6% and occupancy grew 0.2%.

The strong growth is part of a trend for South Africa, as RevPAR was up 6.3% in January and was up 11.4% for full-year 2016.

Deals and development

  • Marriott International has announced the signing of the Aloft Mauritius Port Louis, the first Aloft property in Mauritius. The 150-room property is owned by Green East Master and will open in early 2019.
  • Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has signed the 82-key Sarovar Premier Lusaka, which will be the company’s first hotel in Zambia when it opens in 2018.
  • The 285-room Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa has opened in Jordan on 20 March.
  • Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has signed the 274-room Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Azaiba Muscat, the company’s first property in Oman.
  • Deutsche Hospitality has announced a deal with the Muscat National Development and Investment Company to manage the 285-key IntercityHotel Salalah in Muscat, Oman. The hotel will open in 2020.
  • Mövenpick has announced the signing of the 252-room Mövenpick Hotel Addis Ababa, which will be the company’s first Ethiopian property when it opens in 2019.
  • Wyndham Hotel Group has also announced their entrance into Ethiopia with the opening of the 136-room Ramada Addis, Addis Ababa.
  • Hyatt has signed the Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, which will have 326 rooms and will open in 2018. It will be the first Hyatt property in Algeria.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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