Long-stay guests boost Abu Dhabi Sheraton hotel


Staying permanently in a luxury five-star hotel would be many people's idea of heaven. For many of the guests of Abu Dhabi Sheraton Residence, it is a way of life.

Some have been there for as long as four years and the average stay is six months.

Their presence has given the hotel a year-to-date occupancy rate of 95 per cent with an 80 per cent sellout last month, despite the slump experienced by many competitors as a result of the September 11 attacks in the US.

Well over half of the 54 studio apartments and 101 executive suites at Sheraton Residence are in long term occupancy, shielding it against seasonal variations and market sensitivities.

Why do so many people choose to live for so long in a luxury hotel instead of buying or leasing a home?

"It is all about convenience. Our guests are corporate executives rather than private individuals," says general manager Cabrial Khoury.

"By staying at the Abu Dhabi Sheraton Residence, their companies eliminate the hassle factor - finding and furnishing accommodation, being bound by leases, buying and selling, maintenance and services. If they have to travel at short notice, there is no worry about finding a house-sitter.

"For us, the guaranteed occupancy compensates for the discounts and also helps boost our short-term business."

He said the hotel also benefits from referrals from the long-term clientele.