Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Saudi Ritz now a detention center; October metrics; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
US-Israel embassy move sparks upheaval
The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked protests and upheaval, according to The New York Times. Palestinian protests “clashed with Israeli forces in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza” following the announcement.
In Dubai, supply growth outpaced demand growth for the month, pushing occupancy down 2.7%. Average daily rate also fell 1.1%, resulting in a 3.8% drop in revenue per available room.
Jeddah hotels saw even worse results as supply jumped 9.8% and demand fell 9.3%. This combined for a 17.4% drop in occupancy, a 9.7% dip in ADR, and a 25.4% decline in RevPAR.
Markets optimistic following South African election
The South African benchmark stock index jumped for the biggest gains since March after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the leader of the country’s ruling party—the African National Congress—according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg cited Morgan Stanley analysts as saying “the removal of a degree of political uncertainty is a significant potential catalyst for relative recovery in South African performance and for a better-than-expected earnings outcome for the domestic earners in 2018.”
Saudis looking for rebound 2018
Saudi Arabian officials are looking to avoid a repeat of a disappointing 2017 and are planning to jump start their economy with a new wave of spending in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
The country is planning to “boost spending by more than 13%,” according to the news agency.
King Salman said his hopes the moves “propel the economy forward and create more job opportunities for citizens.”
Deals and development
- The 226-room Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem was sold to a French investment group for roughly $130 million.
- The 125-room Raffles The Palm Dubai Hotel was announced by AccorHotels with plans to open in 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Jumeirah Group announced plans for the 167-room Jumeirah Royal Saray-Bahrain, which will open in February 2018.
- The 79-room Citymax Hotel Aswan opened in Aswan, Egypt, marking the Dubai-based brand’s first property in the country. It is owned by Egypt Holland for Touristic Investments.
- A 200-room City Lodge property opened in Nairobi, Kenya.
- The 101-key Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert opened, marking the brand’s third property in UAE.
- The 215-room Sundus Rotana Muscat opened in Rotana, Oman.
- The 187-room Crowne Plaza Cairo Sheikh Zayed City was announced with plans to open in 2021. The hotel, owned by Al Badr For Investments and Commercial Spaces Company, marks the brand’s first property in Cairo, Egypt.
- The 300-key Mövenpick Hotels & Residences North Coast, Egypt is set to open in 2020.
- The Al Anwar Holdings owned Novotel Muscat Azaiba was announced with plans to open in 2020. The 200-room hotel will be located near the Oman Exhibition & Conference Centre.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.