Three-star hotel numbers up in UAE


Three-star hotels have increased in number in the UAE, signalling enhanced quality in the industry, says a report.

There has been a sharp decline in two-star hotels, a report in Khaleej Times said quoting a study by National Bank of Dubai.

This reflects the changing nature of the market dictated by the new trend in business and leisure visitors, it quoted experts as saying.

The share of three-star hotels increased from 17 per cent to 26.4 per cent, according to the report. During an eight-year period ending 2001, the share of five-star category hotels remained more or less the same at 14 per cent.

During the period, hotel sector's lodging income, which constitutes nearly half of the total industry revenues, rose 70 per cent from Dh2.3 billion ($626 million) to Dh3.9 billion in 2001.

Dubai dominates the industry by accounting for nearly 72.5 per cent of UAE's operating hotels in 2001. This is a slight decline from 76.6 per cent in 1996. Sharjah also witnessed significant decline in its share in total hotels from 7.2 per cent in 1996 to 5.8 per cent in 2001. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi's share gained slightly over the same period where it rose from 12.8 per cent in 1996 to 13.5 per cent in 2001, the report said.

Visitors from the GCC countries constitute 32.8 per cent of the 413,000 guests. Europeans formed 27 per cent, Asians and Africans represent a share of 24.8 per cent. Guests from other Arab countries constituted 10.7 per cent. The shares of guests from American countries and Australia are 3.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

European guests are the source of 38.1 per cent of total demand for five star hotels. The demand from GCC nationals (the biggest segment) for lodging services is distributed as 35.7 per cent for five-star hotels, 28.4 per cent for four stars, and 1 8.5 per cent for two stars. The demand of Asian and African guests is more concentrated for two-star hotels (32.8 per cent) and three stars (29.8 per cent), the report said.