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Visitor numbers to leisure hotels in the United Arab Emirates drop slightly during Ramadan

Hotel occupancy levels in the United Arab Emirates dropped slightly during the Ramadan period, according to hoteliers and industry experts. The number of business travellers fell by approximately 30 per cent during Ramadan which is relatively normal but the number of leisure travellers taking Middle East holidays in Dubai or Abu Dhabi also fell slightly.

Visitor numbers to leisure hotels in the United Arab Emirates drop slightly during Ramadan

Visitor numbers at hotels in the United Arab Emirates dropped during the recent Ramadan period and while bookings in corporate hotels were expected to fall, leisure hotels also experienced a slight drop in numbers.

Average occupancies in corporate hotels in the emirates fell by approximately 30 per cent which was expected because many business travellers head off to spend the holidays at home during Ramadan, but leisure hotels also recorded a slight fall.

This year’s Ramadan took place in the midst of summer from 20th July to 18th August and the period is usually a very popular time for travellers to take Dubai holidays or breaks in Abu Dhabi and Egypt to celebrate the Holy Month.

Rotana Hotels recorded a 10 per cent drop in occupancies during Ramadan. Adrian Deegan, the Area Director of Sales for Rotana, explained: “From May 15 until the beginning of Ramadan, the hotels were running at a pretty good occupancy – they were in the 70s on average.

 Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resorts
Image by: Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, on Flickr

“Rates have dropped about 10 per cent since the start of Ramadan. But we were expecting that, it was not a surprise.”

Kempinski operates hotels in Dubai and other Middle Eastern and African destination and Avsar Koc, the Regional Sales Director for Kempinski - Middle East & Africa, said that its UAE hotels were performing as expected.

“Holidaymakers continue to choose UAE as their preferred destination as we have seen a steady amount of leisure business,” he said.

Haitham Mattar, Hilton’s Vice President of Sales for Middle East, Africa, East Europe & Russia, said that the group’s hotels saw “healthy pick-up across the region” during the month and many travellers from the United States, Unites Kingdom and Germany took holidays in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.

 Hilton Ras Al Khaimah in Dubai
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

Hoteliers across the United Arab Emirates hope that occupancy levels during the Eid al-Fitr festival, which celebrates the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan, have made up for any lost business.

During Eid al-Fitr festival, holidaymakers are treated to a variety of activities and entertainment during holidays to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other popular holidaydestinations in the Middle East with fireworks displays, retail promotions and concerts taking place.

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