The Swiss hotel group Mövenpick is eyeing entry into Abu Dhabi as the capital grows its tourism offerings.
Demand for hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi outstripped supply in March, the research group STR Global said yesterday. Average occupancy levels stood at 83.3 per cent, a 4 per cent increase over the same period last year. However, the average room rate declined 4.9 per cent to Dh515.70, leading to a 1.1 per cent drop in the revenue per available room, a key measure of a hotel’s profitability, to Dh429.40.
Large trade fairs and exhibitions fuelled demand for hotel rooms last month, led by the four-day Integrated Offshore Commissioning course, and the week-long Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week, which included the Abu Dhabi Air Expo and the Red Bull Air Race.
Mövenpick is currently in the final stages of signing a contract for a hotel in Abu Dhabi, according to Andreas Mattmüller, the chief operating officer at Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts for Middle East and South Asia.
“Entering a destination is a long-term decision and commitment to the destination does not depend on economic cycles,” he said.
This year, it will open Mövenpick Hotel City Star Jeddah with 230 rooms and a third property in Doha with 136 rooms.
It plans to open two more properties in Dubai in the next two years. Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai with 246 apartments is expected to open next year. The opening of the 251-room Mövenpick Hotel Dubai Media City has been pushed to 2018.
Mövenpick said it expects to add 15 properties in the Middle East by 2020. It currently operates 30 hotels in the Middle East. In the UAE, it operates six hotels, all of which are in Dubai.
As part of the strategy it is looking at projects in Muscat, Sohar and Salalah besides Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, Mr Mattmüller said.
Dubai, which had around 78,184 hotel rooms at the end of November, according to STR Global, is expected to add more in the run-up to Expo 2020. Room rates have been dropping in the city as more inventory comes into the market.
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