Spa News Dubai

Hotel bookings for Eid up 40% in Dubai

Hotel bookings in Dubai during Eid Al Fitr have jumped almost 40 per cent, especially in five-star and beachfront properties, according to managers of several hospitality chains.

This growth follows a relatively quiet phase during Ramadan, the managers said.

The present bookings for the Eid holidays are by tourist groups and families from multiple destinations, primarily the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and a number of new markets, such as the US and South Africa.

Hotel managers also cited a considerable rise in bookings from inside the UAE, especially in beach hotels and those close to big shopping centres. They said hotels have restored high occupancy levels through their promotional offers in addition to those by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing (DTCM).

Tourism and hotel sources expect occupancy rates will reach the normal levels of 85 to 95 per cent with the start of the winter tourism season.

Atlantis The Palm's Deputy Chairman for operation, Yahya Idris, said Eid Al Fitr bookings have brought high occupancy rates of 80 to 85 per cent in the property. Idris said oil and petrochemical companies have booked large numbers of rooms for their employees to spend the Eid holiday in the resort. This is in addition to bookings by families and individuals from all over the UAE and overseas, he said.

Meanwhile, Abdin Nasrallah, General Manager of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, spoke of a big rise in bookings during Eid, adding that there was high demand from the local market. He said, normally, occupancy gradually improves after summer and Ramadan and this year, too, early indicators for the winter season show a big rise in occupancy resulting in high revenues.

Nasrallah said Dubai's hotels intensified marketing and promotions in summer, especially in the major markets, such as Europe.

Osama Bishri, General Manager of Travco tourism company, said efforts by the DTCM to probe new markets would bear fruit over the coming period.

John Pelling, General Manager of Raffles Dubai, said occupancy was up 75 per cent at the hotel with the Eid bookings, in comparison to the Ramadan. Bookings started to flow in strongly a week before Eid, he said.

Pelling said most bookings were from GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, since many families in the region prefer to spend holidays in Dubai.

Dubai now has 40,943 hotel rooms and 17,204 hotel apartments – a 17 per cent increase compared to the first half of last year.

Meanwhile, according to projections by the Dubai International Airport, the number of passengers using the airport will reach 40.5 million by the end of the year, an increase of 8.2 per cent from 2008.

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