Jeddah hotels had the highest occupancy rates – up to 84 per cent – among the major cities in the Middle East and North Africa region in September 2015, a specialist report reveals. Al Medina came next with 72 per cent and then Dubai with 68 per cent.
An Ernst & Young report notes that the reason behind the high occupancy rates in Jeddah is pilgrims, who usually visit Jeddah before or after the Hajj season, Saudi-based Al Yaum Newspaper reports.
It is also common for pilgrims to stay in the city of Medina after the end of the pilgrimage season in Mecca so as to visit the Prophet’s Mosque, the second-holiest place for Muslims after Mecca.
Ernst & Young’s survey about hotel occupancy in the Middle East and North Africa region shows that the hospitality market in Mecca has the highest growth in RevPAR (revenue per available room) compared with the month of September 2014, due to pilgrims.
Mecca hotels have achieved an increase in RevPAR by 83.2 per cent in September 2015 compared with the same period last year, with a 28.8 per cent increase in room rates.
Youssef Wahba, head of the Estate Counselling Services for Ernst & Young says, “The hospitality market in Mecca, Ras Al Khaimah and Manama has seen a positive increase in RevPAR compared to the same period last year, while Kuwait and Riyadh witnessed a decline in the performance of the hospitality market through September 2015 compared with the same period last year.”
“RevPAR in Kuwait declined from $130 in September 2014 to $91 in September 2015; this is due mainly to the decline in the occupancy rate by 14 per cent in September 2015 compared with the same period last year,“ he adds.
($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)