THE LEVANT – Guests from Saudi Arabia and from within the UAE will keep hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi busy this Eid.
Occupancies at both cities are expected to hit their peak during the week, especially those close to leisure attractions, said Rashid Aboobacker, a senior consultant with TRI Hospitality Consulting.
“The market-wide occupancies are likely to be above 90 per cent during the week in Dubai and over 80 per cent in Abu Dhabi,” he said.
At the Grand Millennium, attached to Al Wahda Mall in central Abu Dhabi, the hotel manager expects his business to be about 70 per cent full, with rates starting at Dh314 for the opening weekend. The property has 586 rooms and 258 hotel apartments. Similar rooms in September, considered a low season, start at Dh297.
“There is an increase of 10 per cent in the occupancy, [with] a higher demand from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and summer fest with [tourism agency] promotions,” said Marwan Mseikeh, the hotel manager at Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel Abu Dhabi.
“TCA Abu Dhabi has tied up with Dnata for attracting business during summer and Eid period.”
The TCA and Dnata co-operated this year on a marketing programme, including mall promotions in the UAE and India. Dnata is part of Emirates Group and provides services related to air travel such as cargo handling and flight bookings.
Rooms typically have been booked four days in advance at the Grand Millennium, with the pace picking up after the declaration of the Eid days.
At Dubai’s Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach Residence, the general manager reported that the expected occupancy during the week is about 90 per cent, with most of the guests from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Rooms were going for Dh615 for the opening weekend at the four-star property, which manages to hold the rate during September as well.
With the long Eid break, “the visitors from the Gulf will stay for a longer period at the hotels and more UAE residents will go for short breaks to celebrate Eid”, said Alper Can Bulcum, the hotel’s general manager.
“Our bigger units with two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom penthouses are popular during this time among the Gulf visitors travelling with their families.”
The luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai is expecting a full-house as other Arabian Gulf countries have a longer public holiday. While the UAE’s government sector has a nine-day break, Saudi Arabia has a 12-day holiday, Qatar at 11 days and Oman has 10 days. Rooms at the Shangri-La start at Dh600 per night for Eid, which is lower than the rate of Dh723 during a weekend in September.
The Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road also expects tourists from Europe, India, China and Iran during the holiday week.