Sami Al Ansari, CEO of Ishraq Gulf Estate Holding, said the huge increase in the number of available rooms presented the next challenge for the hotel sector, struggling this year amid the global economic slowdown.
Ansari, who is a member of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (Ahiqar) ‘s Advisory Board, said: “2009 has been a challenge for the hotel industry in Dubai, the collapse of demand for hotel rooms, as a result of the recession, along with a huge increase of 17 percent in inventory rooms led occupation of 15 percent and revenue per available room by 35 percent so far this year compared to 2008. ”
He added: “The signs of improving demand for the rest of 2009 are evident, however, continued pressure on room rates, as a result of fierce competition.
He said the cautious outlook for 2010 was “as much will depend on how quickly the world economy can recover for the benefit of both leisure and business demand for hotel rooms in Dubai.”
He added: “The challenge remains with the entry of new rooms supply estimated at 15 percent in 2010, increasing rooms to 54,000 in Dubai. This is an offer impressive additional 40 percent compared to 2008 .
Ansari, one of a number of key members of the hospitality industry in the region who were in Dubai on Sunday before the next Arabian Hotel Investment Conference to be held May 1-3, 2010.
The meeting comes at a critical time for the hospitality sector in the MENA region, which has seen a decline in occupancy rates, but since then has revealed a promising development pipeline of 468 hotels with 126,464 rooms, according to Global 2009 August STR reporting gas pipeline.