HotelNewsNow.com each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s compilation covers the Middle East/Africa region.
April shows mixed results
The Middle East/Africa region reported mixed results in the three key measurements for April 2010 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.
The region’s occupancy ended the month virtually flat with a 0.6-percent decrease to 65.9 percent, average daily rate increased 2.0 percent to US$162.04, and revenue per available room grew 1.4 percent to US$106.79.
“The region, which came later in the downturn in 2009, is making progress on the path to recovery with its third month of RevPAR increases,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “Demand grew, and despite continuing increases in new supply, the region got the top spot with 66 percent occupancy and (US)$162 ADR of the four regions. The year-to-April RevPAR results are (US)$0.77 higher than year-to-date 2009 and (US)$16 lower than year-to-date 2008.”
Performances of key countries in March (all monetary units in local currency):
|United Arab Emirates
• Read “STR Global: MEA results for April 2010.”
UAE leads region with the most hotels in the total active pipeline
The Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline comprises 467 hotels totaling 128,903 rooms, according to the April 2010 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.
Among the countries in the region, the United Arab Emirates ended the month with the most rooms in the total active pipeline with 56,187 rooms. UAE also reported the most rooms in the In Construction phase with 29,125 rooms. Saudi Arabia reported 15,770 rooms in the total active pipeline, followed by Egypt (7,178 rooms) and Qatar (6,041 rooms).
Among the key markets in region, Dubai, UAE, reported the largest number of rooms in the total active pipeline (32,753) and in the In Construction phase (16,539), followed by Abu Dhabi, UAE, with 14,558 rooms in the total active pipeline and 7,849 rooms in the In Construction phase.
• Read “STR Global: MEA pipeline April 2010.”
Luxury hotel company plans major expansion
Luxury hotelier Elisabetta Gucci is planning 40 hotels over the next 15 years in the Middle East, Far East and South America and aims to open its first hotel in Dubai at the end of the year.
Partner Lorens Ziller at Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and Resorts said the construction of the 87-room boutique hotel is completed, with the firm eyeing a second hotel in China next year.
Deloitte: Dubai’s hotels outperform other world markets
Dubai’s hospitality sector continues to outperform other markets in the world as the emirate recorded the highest occupancy rate and revenues during the first four months of 2010, compared to same period last year, according to a latest study.
Dubai witnessed occupancy of 77.4 percent during the period year-to-date April 2010, compared to 71.5 percent from the corresponding period during 2009, reflecting a growth of 8.4 percent, according to an analysis by Deloitte, a consultancy and advisory firm.
Revenue per available room, was the highest during the first four months in Dubai compared to other parts of the world. RevPAR during the period year-to-date April 2010 was recorded at US$195.72, Deloitte said.
Survey: Growing confidence in the EMEA hotel market
As economic conditions gradually improve, investor sentiment continues to shift slowly towards a buy strategy, according to the latest Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey from Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
EMEA trading performance expectations for both the short and medium term continued to improve, but the lowest expectations have been reported for cities in the Middle East and Central Eastern Europe. Strong supply growth in recent years makes it difficult for these emerging destinations to recover at the same pace as Western European markets with higher barriers to entry. The hotel market in Dubai was reported to remain the most challenging market in the Middle East and North Africa region with negative expectations for both the short and medium term.
Marriott details Middle East, North Africa growth plans
Marriott International reaffirmed its growth strategy for the Middle East and North Africa region with plans to open 1,500 rooms in the region during the next 12 months.
The group’s Mena portfolio comprises 28 operating hotels, and the company intends to launch properties in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE by 2016, bringing the total to 40 properties.
Marriott plans to open three hotels this year in Qatar—the Renaissance Doha, the Courtyard by Marriott and the Marriott Executive Apartments in Doha. Next year, Marriott will open a Renaissance hotel in Tlemcen, Algeria, and a JW Marriott hotel in Tripoli, Libya. Both will be the company’s first properties in those countries.
There are two additional properties planned for Algeria—the 227-room Algiers Marriott and the 180-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Algiers, both of which are expected to open during 2012.
Marriott will also open its first property in Rwanda with the 237-room Kigali Marriott Hotel in 2012. In Dubai, the construction on the landmark JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai is on schedule and is due to open in 2012.
Marriott also plans to bring the Fairfield Inn brand to the Middle East.
World Cup fans face 300-percent hike in hotel room rates
Tens of thousands of football supporters heading to South Africa for the World Cup, which starts this week, face hugely inflated prices for accommodation. In some cases hotel tariffs have risen by up to 300 percent over the normal charge, prompting allegations of a "rip off," according to the Independent.
Experts blame a British-based company that has a controversial exclusive deal with FIFA, football's controlling body, to provide lucrative hospitality packages for the tournament. The company has secured tens of thousands of rooms—up to 80 percent according to estimates—in South Africa's leading hotel chains, which it is offering at vastly inflated rates.
Zimbabwe's Meikles to revamp hotels
Zimbabwe's hotel group Meikles Africa will spend US$53 million by end-March 2011 to revamp its hotels and supermarkets and hopes to return to profit by year-end, the company's chairman said in a Reuters report.
Zimbabwean companies are starting to reorganize after a decade of economic collapse that saw inflation reach 5 billion percent in 2008 and made planning difficult.
Meikles owns two premier hotels in the capital Harare and the resort town of Victoria Falls. Hotel occupancies were up to between 32 percent and 41 percent during the first quarter of 2010 from 17 percent to 21 percent last year.
Acorn and Hyatt planning joint Africa hotel portfolio
Acorn Fund Management, in partnership with Hyatt International, is launching a portfolio that will invest in hotels in Africa.
The African Hospitality Growth fund is targeting a return of 100 percent over a five-year period, equal to an internal rate of return of 17 percent per year.
It will invest in four hotels to be built by Hyatt in South Africa during the period, with the hotel company agreeing to provide at least 10 percent of the fund’s £57 million (US$82 million) fundraising target. Hyatt will operate the hotels under a 20-year management contract.
Hilton plans two openings
Hilton Worldwide signed a management agreement with Jordan Maritime Complex for Real Estate Investments Co. for the Doubletree by Hilton, Aqaba, marking the brand’s entry into Jordan, according to Travel Daily News. The 181-room, new-build property will be located in the popular resort destination of Aqaba on Jordan’s southern coast. It is expected to open in the third quarter of 2010.
Hilton also announced the signing of a management agreement with Jenan Real Estate Company to introduce the first Hilton-branded property in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, according to Vadvert.. The 400-room Hilton Al Khobar Hotel & Residence is scheduled to open in Q4 2013. The new property will be part of an upscale mixed-use development with a range of facilities including a hotel, residential towers, a retail mall and an office building. Construction is scheduled to start in March 2011.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts opened the Fairmont Zimbali Resort, a 154-room property located along the eastern coast of South Africa. The hotel joins the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, a 76-room property set nearby along the beach.
Sol Meliá is adding its first hotel in the United Arab Emirates to its hotel portfolio. The Meliá Dubai is a luxury hotel due to open at the beginning of next year and will become the first hotel run by a Spanish hotel group in the Middle East. The newly built, 167-room hotel will be operated under a management agreement.
Action Hotels and Al Rawahi International plan to open a new 176-room Holiday Inn hotel in Muscat, Oman, near the international airport by December 2011.http://gulfnews.com/business/tourism/holiday-inn-to-open-next-year-1.635505
Kempinski Hotels will open the 191-room Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City Cairo on 20 June.
Rotana, a hotel management company in the Middle East and North Africa, is set to open the first hotel under its management in Doha, Qatar. The 400-room Oryx Rotana will cater largely to business travelers.