Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Dubai’s foreign investment push; supply and performance numbers; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
UAE pushing to protect foreign investment
Amid concerns that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are becoming more attractive landing spots for foreign investment, officials with the United Arab Emirates are changing rules in hopes of making the country more attractive, according to Bloomberg. The most notable change will be the long-standing requirement to have a local partner in businesses is going away, allowing investors to own wholly own investments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the first time.
“The UAE needs to keep pace or stay ahead if it doesn’t want to lose its competitive advantage,” Khatija Haque, the head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD PJSC, told Bloomberg. “When oil was at $100 a barrel for several years there wasn’t that much need to attract foreign investment. Clearly that has changed.”
What brands think of the Middle East
Hotel News Now’s coverage of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference continues with a series of stories from HNN’s Terence Baker on how different brands are looking to grow in the region.
Hilton is keying in on the Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn brands, Baker writes. InterContinental Hotels Group officials believe they’re in a strengthened position for growth as they add more brands in various segments. And AccorHotels officials believe their 2016 investment in 25hours will lead to further growth in the Middle East, including the upcoming 424-room 25hours Hotel One Central, Dubai.
The latest data for Abu Dhabi, Jeddah
Preliminary April data from HNN’s parent company STR shows metrics have dropped for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, although the Saudi Arabian capital saw steeper declines.
In Abu Dhabi, occupancy increased 2.7% to 80%, but a 3.3% drop in average daily rate to 432.12 Emirati dirhams ($117.64) pushed down revenue per available room 0.7% to 345.88 dirhams ($94.16).
The rate-occupancy dynamics were reversed in Jeddah, where a 4.7% increase in ADR to 822.06 Saudi Arabian riyals ($219.17) wasn’t enough to overcome a 13.5% drop in occupancy to 53.5%, ultimately pushing RevPAR down 9.4% to 439.90 riyals ($117.28).
Deals and development
- Nobu Hospitality has announced plans for the 38-room Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv will open in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- The 168-room Element Me’aisam, owned by Dubai Properties, opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Emaar Hospitality Group announced a renovation and redesign of the historic Alamein resort in El-Alamein, Egypt. The revamped Al Alamein Hotel will be opened later in 2018 with 189 accommodations and be and managed by Vida Hotels and Resorts.
- Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced entry of The Unbound Collection in Turkey with the opening of the 45-room Nish Palas Istanbul.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.