Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Sweeping changes in Dubai; GIOHIS coverage; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
HNN covers GIOHIS
Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker was on hand for the recent Gulf & Indian Ocean Hotel Investors' Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, sharing highlights and insights from some of the top hotel executives in that region.
Topics covered at the event include: Oversupply issues in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; the changing approach to luxury in the Middle East; the region’s need to change its approach to online travel agencies; and the types of deals dominating the Indian Ocean.
A look at modern Dubai
Bloomberg Businessweek recently took a closer look at what the news outlet dubbed “Dubai 2.0,” which outlines the emirates aggressive plans to embrace the future and the reasons behind plans to incorporate cutting-edge technology and even seeking to send a probe to Mars.
“The quest for the next new thing, though, masks an uncomfortable truth as Dubai comes of age: The city has no choice but to reinvent itself again or risk a severe reversal of fortunes,” Bloomberg writes. “Wealthier neighbors are trying to replicate its effort to move beyond oil, international banks are retrenching and it’s losing some of its allure for foreign workers.”
January performance and pipeline data
For the month of January, rate drops in the Middle East spoiled a modest occupancy gain, while African hoteliers enjoyed across-the-board metric growth, according to the latest data from HNN’s parent company STR.
The Middle East saw occupancy increase 1.9% to 69.1%, but a 3.4% drop in average daily rate to $170.28 pushed revenue per available room down 1.6% to $117.75.
In Africa, occupancy increased 5.7% to 53.4%, while ADR increased 2.6% to $126.55, combining for an 8.4% jump in RevPAR to $67.54.
In terms of pipeline numbers for the region in January, the Middle East had 333 properties with 105,037 rooms under construction, while Africa had 146 hotels with 26,030 rooms under construction.
South Africa looking for economic rebound with new leadership
New South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is looking to calm the economic storm for his country, according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes he recently unveiled a budget that needs to please both “international investors and South Africa’s poor black majority.”
“The budget is a mix of tax increases that will help fund free higher education for poor and middle-class students and spending cuts aimed at shoring up the country’s credit rating,” the newspaper writes. “It comes a week after Mr. Ramaphosa took office after his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, resigned amid pressure from a series of corruption scandals.”
Deals and development
- The 155-room Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja opened in Lagos, Nigeria, marking the brand’s second property in the market.
- The 150-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Jeddah Corniche opened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is the fifth Radisson Blu property in Jeddah and Carlson Rezidor’s 38th property in Saudi Arabia.
- Marriott International has announced the conversion of the historic Mena House near the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt as the 331-room Marriott Mena House, Cairo.
- Marriott announced the opening of the 206-room Aloft Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
- DUR Hospitality and InterContinental Hotels Group signed an agreement for the conversion of the Riyadh Palace Hotel in Saudi Arabia to the 304-room Crowne Plaza Riyadh Palace by June 2018. IHG also announced the opening of the 326-room Crowne Plaza Riyadh-RDC Hotel and Convention Center.
- The Swissôtel Al Ghurair opened in Dubai. The 428-room hotel is part of a multi-use development owned by Al Ghurair Properties.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.