This three-day weekend is proving a boon for hotels in Dubai.
Resorts including Waldorf Astoria the Palm, Rixos the Palm and Sofitel Dubai The Palm — as well as the Sofitel’s luxury apartments – are sold out, with no rooms available as of yesterday morning.
The 300-room Amwaj Rotana on The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence is fully booked for the long weekend and a good number of the guests are from within the UAE, said a spokeswoman for the hotel.
“One of the big reasons for the good occupancy this year is the weather, it is still pleasant to go to the beach or for a walk,” she said.
The bumper bookings are a welcome relief for the industry and comes at a time of slowing economic growth.
The global economic growth rate has been cut to 3.2 per cent by the IMF, with the UAE expected to grow at 2.4 per cent this year, its slowest since 2010.
Hotels in Dubai reported a 10 per cent decline in the average room rate during the first quarter at US$234.88 compared with same period last year, according to STR, the hotel data benchmarking company. Room rates have been falling since last year because of increased inventory in the market.
“Even if we speculate that economy is slow, travel abroad is something people will cut first and spend holidays locally,” said the spokeswoman for Amwaj Rotana.
Properties on the Sheikh Zayed Road were also filling out fast for the long weekend.
At the 321-room Dusit Thani Sheikh Zayed Road, where rooms were still available starting at Dh700 a night, occupancy is higher than last year.
“We have a good occupancy rate [for the holiday weekend this year] and better room rates than on other dates expected for the rest of the month,” said a spokeswoman for Dusit Thani.
At The H Dubai, the five-star property at No 1 Sheikh Zayed Road, only two rooms were available yesterday starting at Dh1,200 a night, without breakfast.
Some of luxury properties that were still available had rooms starting at more than Dh2,000, such as at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Al Qasr.