UAE’s hospitality sector has been one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, stats are now showing the sector to be one of the first that is experiencing recovery from the pandemic. Open economies are the first ones that usually first hit during any crisis but are also the very first that recover from such crisis. The UAE’s vibrant hospitality sector is slowly returning to growth and leading the economic recovery of the nation. As the nation reels from canceled vacations as well as a slow and steady return of international tourists, things look bright going forward.
The global hospitality data providing agency, STR revealed on Tuesday that the hotel industry in Abu Dhabi posted its apex occupancy levels at 68.5 per cent at the beginning of the pandemic in June 2021. The hospitality sector in Dubai has leapt ahead and currently leads Emirate’s economic recovery with good occupancy levels reported on the backdrop of staycations. Occupancy rates in Dubai have steadily risen and improved thanks to the various safety and hygiene measures that have been undertaken. The month of December 2020 posted the highest growth for the hospitality sector in Dubai at 69 per cent. However, there was a slight dip at 59.4 per cent in April 2021 due to Ramadan. Compared to other parts of the Middle East and Africa, the Emirate’s rates of occupancy are significantly high.
RevPAR grew by more than 550 per cent in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. It is however anticipated that the school holidays that are starting in July may lead to increased demand for staycations. UAE has been declared to be one of the safest countries in the world following its superb adherence to Covid-19 measures. This in itself will help boost foreign tourists that visit the country. The Expo 2020 Dubai will also help drive up the occupancy levels to over 90 per cent in most hotels in October 2021. Staycations during the summer and inflows from tourists into the country for the Expo actually portends a rosy outlook for the hospitality sector in the UAE. What this means is that, the UAE’s hospitality industry will lead its entire economic recovery.