Dubai: Hotels across the UAE are reporting robust forward bookings for the upcoming Eid Al Fitr holidays, and expect occupancy rates of 95 to 100 per cent.
With staycation enthusiasts powering more than 50 per cent of the demand, hotel room rates in prime locations average from Dh2,000 to Dh7,000 for a two-night stay, depending on the property.
According to the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), the holidays are from Ramadan 29 until Shawwal 3.
And since Eid celebrations are coinciding with the usual peak travel season, hotels in Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island will be packed for the holidays with tourists (a healthy mix of GCC and international arrivals) and UAE residents, according to hoteliers.
Average daily rates of hotels in Dubai have shot up at least 45-50 per cent this month (Dh1,100) compared to the February-March period (Dh609). Hotels are also experiencing a noticeable increase in occupancy rates compared to the figures from 2021 and 2022.
However, though room rates for five-star properties are averaging Dh1,197 to Dh6,900 for the main Eid weekend, many affordable options are also up for grabs, according to data on travel aggregator Booking.com. For example, a two-night stay (April 20-22) for two adults at Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel is priced at Dh567 (not including taxes).
Hotel rates and demand soar
Though April is a peak tourist season for the UAE, most hotels expect their Eid festive season demand to be driven by staycation enthusiasts. Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts and Hotels, said: “JA Resorts and Hotels are currently operating at approximately an 80 per cent occupancy rate, and bookings for the long Eid Al Fitr break are currently surging above this, particularly with residents looking for a staycation break.”
Moreover, compared to the 2021-2022 occupancy levels, JA Resorts and Hotels’ properties have seen an approximate 10 per cent occupancy level increase, with Dubai properties seeing the most significant jump in demand, said El Khoury. This resort’s most affordable hotel room is priced at Dh933 for the Eid weekend.
Elena Blinova, Cluster Director of Revenue for Anantara, The Palm Dubai Resort, Anantara World Islands Dubai, and NH Collection Dubai, The Palm, said: “We are delighted to see strong demand for bookings at Anantara, The Palm Dubai Resort. Our occupancies sit at 70 per cent, and we expect the resort to be fully booked in the coming days.”
A standard room at Anantara, the Palm Dubai, during the Eid weekend is priced at Dh4,523 (including breakfast and not including taxes).
“The demand is a mix of international and local guests since Eid falls in April, which is still a high demand period from international guests. Of course, with every other high season, demand drives rates,” Vanessa Baumann, Director of Sales and Marketing Kempinski Hotel and Residences Palm Jumeirah, said. Hotel rooms during the Eid weekend are priced at Dh7,920.
Properties with a smaller inventory and experiential tourism, like the Sharjah Collection by Mysk, are expecting 70 per cent of the demand to be driven by staycation enthusiasts.
Shafik Alaaeddine, General Manager of Sharjah Collection by Mysk, said: “The booking pace is positive and healthy and steady, and we expect a total occupancy rate of 85 to 90 per cent. Staycation seekers form 70 per cent of that demand.” The Mysk Al Badayer Retreat in Sharjah charges Dh2,090 (taxes not included) for a two-night stay during the Eid weekend.
Affordable options are available too
That being said, many hotels also offer affordable stay options during the festive season. Hotels have also drawn up special packages for staycations, including F&B offers. Some hotels, such as The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai have launched a 25 per cent off for Eid Al Fitr in celebration of the property’s 25th anniversary.
However, hoteliers have said that bookings are at the very last minute from all key feeder markets. Elena said: “Most bookings are made within a short window of seven to three days before guests’ stay. This pattern is influenced by the official announcements from various Gulf countries, which play a key role in shaping travel decisions.”
Laura Eggleton, General Manager of Hotel Indigo, said: “As per our usual trends, the hotel experiences lots of last minute demand. We anticipate running high occupancies during this high demand period.” She added, “We are expecting to outperform compared to the last year.”