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Middle East leads world on hotel revenues in March

Middle East hotel rates continued to lead the global market in March, with revenues per available room at $139 during the month, data from companies Deloitte and STR Global showed.

The figure outpaced $88 in Europe, $96 in the Asia Pacific Region and $65 in the Americas, the companies said in a report Tuesday.

Occupancy in the Middle East was at 68.5 percent for the month, representing a swell of 1.8 percent on the year-earlier period, despite political unrest sweeping the region.

The region was not completely immune to decline – the Middle East’s RevPAR, though still the world’s highest, saw a drop of two percent from the same period in 2010.

In the Gulf, Dubai hotels saw occupancy increase 5.9 percent to hit 80.7 percent for the year, accompanied by a 4.6 percent jump in RevPAR to $199 in March. Hotels in the city benefited from major events including the Dubai International Boat Show and high-profile horseracing meet the Dubai World Cup.

Abu Dhabi’s occupancy rates also saw a boost to 71.2 percent, up from 63 percent in the year-earlier period, spurred by events such as the Yas Drag Racing Festival and the city’s international book fair. RevPAR in the UAE capital tumbled to $126 as fresh supply spread demand more thinly across the city.

In Muscat, hotel occupancy slid to 59.5 percent – a 12.4 percent drop on the same period a year earlier. The city, which hopes to attract seven percent more tourists in 2011, also saw a slide in revPAR to $147, but remained one of the highest in the Middle East during the quarter.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Jeddah also saw a decline in occupancy to 59.5 percent, a slide of 1.3 percent on the year-earlier period.  Revenues, however, jumped 5.2 percent to $137, aided by a string of business events in the city.

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