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Saudi vacationers drive Dubai’s hotel occupancy to 100 per cent

Year saw major rise in room capacity and availability; however rates may shoot up by 200 per cent for Eid

Dubai hotels have been reporting record early bookings for the Eid al-Fitr holiday as occupancy reaches 100 per cent, according to industry sources.

In addition to residents, most bookings come from Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, the sources add.

Mohamed Awadalla, Chief Executive Officer at TIME Hotels, says the occupancy rate at some of the group’s hotels is already at 100 per cent, while it is 95 per cent at others.

In remarks published by Al Bayan, he expects full occupancy at all of the group’s hotels during the Eid feast. Awadalla speaks of a “major inflow” of Saudi vacationers during the Eid holiday.

He notes that Dubai has become the most favourable destination for Saudi tourists as well as leisure and entertainment seekers.

Compared with the same period last year, room rates dropped by ten to 15 per cent, Awadalla reveals, explaining that this year saw a major rise in room capacity and availability in addition to growing competition between hotels.

However, other hospitality sector sources point out that, in light of a growing demand, room rates will shoot up by 200 per cent during the Eid holiday compared with the prices that prevailed during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

They stress that, despite this expected increase, room rates will see a slight decrease compared with the same period last year because of an oversupply of hotel rooms.