Article Summary:

Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Saudi Arabia relaxing rules; Africa seeing influx of direct flights; and more.

Primary Category: Middle East/Africa

Secondary Categories: News

Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.

Saudi Arabia relaxing travel rules
Changes in visa rules are making things easier for travelers to Saudi Arabia, including allowing unmarried couples to book hotel rooms, according to the BBC. The news outlet notes the change is being made in an effort to boost the country’s tourism industry.

The changes relax regulations on how female travelers must dress, with the BBC noting they are “not required to fully cover up but are still expected to dress modestly,” along with lifting a ban on female drivers and allowing women to “travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission.”

Abu Dhabi seeing performance uptick
Preliminary data from HNN’s parent company STR shows across-the-board increases in key performance metrics for September in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Occupancy was up 8.3% year over year to 72.9% in September, which combined with a 1.2% average daily rate increase to 341.72 Emirati dirhams ($93.05) for a 9.6% increase in revenue per available room to 249.03 dirhams ($67.81).

STR analysts noted several events contributed to the uptick, including a UFC fight on 7 September.

Getting to African destinations is getting easier
While flight times have traditionally been a major barrier to traveling to African destinations, The New York Times reports the continent is enjoying new nonstop flights “dramatically reducing travel time and further linking the United States to major African nations.”

New routes include Miami to Casablanca, Morocco; Newark, New Jersey to Cape Town; and Philadelphia to Casablanca.

Deals and development

  • Tel Aviv-based Brown Hotels acquired four properties from the Zvieli Group in Tel Aviv.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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Headline: Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news

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Article Time: 8:23:00 AM