Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
22 JULY 2020 7:05 AM

Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Changes expected in Africa; Middle Eastern countries bet on testing; and more.

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

Some operational changes expected in Africa
Executives with Radisson Hotel Group and Accor believe Africa’s collective hotel industry will see a bounce back, but going forward there will be a greater need for collaboration and shifts in the operating model, HNN’s Terence Baker writes.

Speaking during an online panel titled “How are the big operators working with their owners across the continent?”, Elie Younes, EVP and chief development officer at Radisson Hotel Group, said the crisis could open the door to changes like greater adoption of third-party management.

“Again it is down to collaboration. This catastrophe has seen no variations based on geographies. By a large extent the situation is identical, and in Africa, pleasantly so, everyone has taken the lockdown, the hit, on the chin. There is no hostility among stakeholders,” he said.

Dubai seeing slight improvements
While the year-over-year changes are still grim, analysts with STR say Dubai’s hotel industry saw slight improvements in June, based on preliminary data. (STR is parent company of Hotel News Now)

Both average daily rate and revenue per available room were up slightly from May to June, although occupancy fell.

Occupancy saw a 60.8% year-over-year drop to 26.3%, while ADR was down 28.9% to 275.75 Emirati dirhams ($75.07), and RevPAR fell 72.2% to 72.65 dirhams ($19.78).

Wealthy Middle Eastern countries bet on testing
The Wall Street Journal reports the current plan of attack for the wealthiest countries in the Middle East is to invest significantly into testing to stem the impacts of the coronavirus, as The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have already tested 40% of their populations.

“Sweeping through working-class housing blocks and crowded migrant labor camps, government health teams administer the mandatory nasal swabs—and then isolate positive cases,” the newspaper reports. “In more affluent areas, those with spare cash and no desire to visit one of many drive-through clinics can book a home visit on their own terms, with the results sent to their phones by the end of the day.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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