Qatar and Ras Al Khaimah were the only four major hotel markets in the Middle East to register occupancy growth when comparing the Ramadan 2018 period with the dates of Ramadan 2017, according to an analysis by STR.

Qatar and Ras Al Khaimah were the only markets to show overall performance growth in local currency with increases in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of 2.0% and 7.3%, respectively. Ras Al Khaimah was the only market with significant growth in average daily rate (+6.9%).

“For a majority of hoteliers in the Middle East, the month of Ramadan is seen as a period of waning hotel performance,” said Philip Wooller, STR’s area director for the Middle East and Africa. “With the exception of the holy cities, demand for accommodation usually bottoms out compared with the rest of the year. That lack of demand extended to the aviation industry this Ramadan period with Emirates Airlines grounding 20 aircraft and British Airways cancelling its direct service between London and Abu Dhabi.”

In absolute values, Makkah and Medina once again reported the highest Ramadan occupancy levels at 74% and 73%, respectively.

“Hotel performance during Ramadan 2018 was mostly a continuation of year-to-date trends for most of the destinations in our analysis,” Wooller said. “Performance was inferior to Ramadan 2017; however, there were highlights such as the occupancy increase in Dubai despite the new hotel supply that has entered the marketplace over the past year. Hotels in Qatar and Makkah also registered occupancy growth, but that came at a cost with significantly lower room rates.”

Market Occupancy ADR RevPAR
Abu Dhabi -0.7% -3.5% -4.3%
Dubai +1.4% -5.3% -4.0%
Kuwait -2.8% +0.1% -2.7%
Makkah +2.9% -11.0% -8.4%
Manama -2.3% -9.4% -11.5%
Medina -0.9% -1.9% -2.8%
Muscat -6.9% +0.1% -6.8%
Qatar +14.9% -11.3% +2.0%
Ras Al Khaimah +0.3% +6.9% +7.3%

Source: STR / percentage changes represent comparison of 16 May through 11 June in 2018 with 26 May through 24 June in 2017 / ADR and RevPAR percentage changes represent local currency