The hotel industry is in need of some positive news. In a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, the UAE government announced that it aims to vaccine half of the population by the end of March.
On Tuesday January 19, the UAE had administered 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. As vaccination numbers increase, this should reduce the number of active cases and raise confidence among visitors to stay in hotels.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has been perceived as one of the world’s safest destinations, and the country’s vaccination drive will likely reinforce its position as one of the safest tourism destinations,” says Christopher Lund, director, head of hotels (MENA region) for Colliers International.
“The fast roll out of the vaccine in the UAE is expected to have an overall positive impact on the hospitality industry, by increasing guests’ confidence to stay in hotels, and providing a boost for the F&B and events segments. International visitors will likely feel more safe and confident travelling to a destination in which a large portion of the population has been vaccinated,” added Lund.
According to STR, hotel performance in the Middle East continues to improve. In December, China had the highest occupancy levels in the world at 58%, while the Middle East came second with a 54% occupancy level.
Philip Wooller, area director Middle East & Africa – STR, said: “The UAE is traditionally one of the strongest performance markets in the world, and we expect the market to continue showing occupancy increases as vaccination rollout extends around the world. The UAE’s occupancy growth over recent months has been driven by strong domestic demand and local carriers opening to more destinations.
“Dubai’s tourism organisations, as well as Etihad and Emirates airlines, have done an effective job in preparing the way for international guests to return, following the latest announcement from Emirates airlines to become one of the first airlines in the world to trial IATA Travel Pass. Initiatives such as these are proof of Dubai’s commitment and effort towards the goal of safe tourism and travel once again. Not only are they beneficial for the domestic hotel and tourism industry but also set the example for others to follow,” added Wooller.
As some Middle Eastern markets show year-over-year growth in hotel performance metrics, the future is looking promising for hotels.