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Eid staycation: UAE hotel room rates spike 90 per cent for Eid Al Fitr holidays

Dubai, May 29 (Gulf News/WNP): Prices at many hotels across the UAE have soared and are filling up quickly, as the Eid Al Fitr season is bringing in robust demand from local residents and foreign visitors.

UAE residents will enjoy a longer-than-usual paid holiday next week on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr. Public and private sector workers will be off from June 2 and June 3, respectively, until the end of the week.

Hoteliers have increased the room rates for next week by over 50 per cent to 90 per cent, with a lot of them expecting to be nearly full in an otherwise sluggish summer season.

As of this week, some properties reported they were already 75 per cent to 85 per cent booked, and they’re positive that there will be more staycationers and holidaymakers from neighbouring countries and other source markets to fill the rest of the rooms.

“We can see a really strong increase in our local Emiratis and residents booking a staycation, a great way to escape the hustle and bustle in the UAE,” Marc de Beer, general manager of Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News.

The five-star property, with 327 rooms and suites and 13 beach villas, is already 85 per cent booked for the long Eid weekend. Its average room rate has gone up to Dh1,150 per night, just slightly higher than last year, but significantly pricier than last week’s rate of only Dh600.

At Sharjah Collection by Mysk, staycationers and other last-minute guests can expect to pay Dh1,000 more per night for Eid stays.

The rate for the property’s one-bedroom tent is currently pegged at Dh2,800, which includes breakfast and dinner. That’s actually a huge jump from last year’s rate of Dh1,500 and last week’s Dh1,800, inclusive of suhour and iftar meals.

“[The] Eid holidays are definitely creating a positive impact, we are expecting a good pickup in the next few days,” said Shafik Alaaeddine, general manager.

“Eid Al Fitr is usually a busy time for the hotel as we can see from the previous years and based on the occupancy we have already. We are forecasting the demand to remain high and we are close to full [occupancy],” added Sabine Renner, director of sales and marketing at Park Hyatt Dubai.

Renner said their property has so far registered an eight per cent increase in the average daily rate (ADR) compared to a year earlier and they are expecting to close the Eid holidays with 100 per cent occupancy.

She said most of their guests will be flying in from Europe, United States and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. There will also be guests from Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries.

Even budget-friendly properties are cashing in on robust demand.

At Citymax Hotel in Bur Dubai, the average room rates went up from Dh85 last week to Dh115. During Eid last year, the rate was Dh110.

“We are trending upwards of 75 per cent at the moment and we expect to trade at over 90 per cent occupancy closer to the date,” said Rohit Sharma, general manager.

Sharman said the Eid Al Fitr season is definitely helping uplift the local hospitality industry.

“Typically, extended holiday periods are great for businesses. Dubai is definitely an attractive destination during the Eid holidays or any other holiday for that matter, with a host of leisure activities available for tourists, such as shopping at one of the many malls, lazing on the pristine beaches or visiting the multiple tourist attractions. Eid holidays are generally at the beginning of the summer period; therefore a week’s holiday is great for the general public and a brilliant opportunity for the hospitality sector as well,” said Sharman.

The properties owned by Central Hotels, including Royal Central Hotel The Palm, Canal Central Hotel Business Bay and First Central Hotel Suites in Barsha Heights are also 75 per cent booked for the holidays.

The rooms have been taken by guests from the UAE, GCC, MiddlE East, Europe and Eastern Europe, with rates now hovering at Dh399, up from Dh250 last week.

“Eid is a period where families get together and given that the holiday is long, this is impacting positively on the overall business,” said Ammar Kanaan, group general manager at Central Hotels.

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