Dubai: Don’t go looking for hotel rooms at some of Dubai’s happening locations for the New Year weekend - there aren’t any available. This year, any visitor planning on a last-minute booking will be in for a disappointment.
On the off-chance that his luck is still intact, he might have to shell out Dh6,000-Dh7,000 for the one-night stay at a hotel in Downtown Dubai, and catch all the New Year’s eve action, including the fireworks display lighting up the Burj Khalifa to mark the entry into 2023.
Hotel rooms on the Palm Jumeirah, not surprisingly, are all taken up, many of the bookings made well in advance as Dubai reaffirms its global credentials as the place to welcome in another year.
Leisure travellers are the biggest contributors during this time of the year as corporate travel takes a back seat from December 20 to January 5.
Are you considering spending a night at Atlantis The Palm over this weekend? No chance. All categories of stay options at the iconic hotel are booked, according to travel aggregator Booking.com. At the Atlantis, the only available room (at the moment) is the ‘Neptune Underwater Suite’ priced at Dh150,000, inclusive of taxes.
Hotel reservations in certain areas across Dubai have exceeded 95 per cent, especially properties in Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah. Serviced apartments are recording occupancies of more than 70 per cent and which should easily hot higher levels over the next 72 hours, several hoteliers have told Gulf News.
Mohamed Rashad, Front Office Manager at Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights, “Hotels in Dubai are reporting occupancies of nearly 90 per cent on room bookings across the emirate and around 100 per cent in Downtown and Burj Khalifa areas ahead of New Year’s Eve.”
After a two-year slump caused by pandemic-triggered restrictions, New Year revellers - resident and visitors alike - are going all-out this weekend. And this NYE marks the first one without mandatory face masks or social distancing norms. While rooms in Dubai are reaching maximum occupancy levels by the hour, bookings at hotels in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain are also hard to get.
Hotels in Dubai are reporting occupancies of nearly 90 per cent on room bookings across the emirate and around 100 per cent in Downtown and Burj Khalifa areas ahead of New Year’s Eve.
“This year, we have seen an increase of approximately 31 per cent hike in demand during New Year compared to the previous year,” said Madisse Matar, Director of Sales and Marketing Crown Plaza Dubai Marina. “Leisure travellers are the biggest contributors during this time of the year as corporate travel takes a back seat from December 20 to January 5.”
Hotel room rates
Such has been the demand room rates have soared in sync. At Downtown Dubai, hotel room rates average Dh3,100-Dh8,000, depending on how close you are to Burj Khalifa. On Palm Jumeirah, rates average from Dh3,609 to Dh17,455 for the NYE weekend. Most standard rooms are sold out, and only luxury suites are available.
The key (source) markets for guests coming to Dubai regularly include CIS countries, India, the GCC and UK.
In Abu Dhabi, hotel room rates range from Dh872 to Dh3,300, depending on the locality. In Ras Al Khaimah, the room rate average at Dh1,700 to Dh3,700 for beachfront properties.
Rates for hotels and resorts on Al Marjan Island are up to Dh3,600 and above. Affordable options are still there “Hotels in Barsha Heights are some of the most affordable hotels compared to hotels in Palm Jumeirah or Downtown and Burj Khalifa,” said Rashad. (Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights is charging Dh2,440 for a two-night stay from December 30 to January 1, and which will drop to Dh720 a night after.)
According to Judit Toth, General Manager at INK Hotel, said room rates during the New Year phase have in many cases doubled over regular tariffs.
Hoteliers have also reported that the most of the incoming demand this weekend is from tourists rather than UAE residents seeking an end-of-year staycation. Rashad said only 1 per cent of hotel guests are UAE residents looking for a staycation.
Madisse said, “We have seen less demand for staycation deals this time of the year. Demand is driven by international tourists coming to Dubai to check out the extravagant firework display, concerts, and other festivities.”
Where are the revellers coming from?
Joseph Karam – Group Director of Operations Ishraq Hospitality, said, “The key (source) markets for guests coming to Dubai regularly include CIS countries, India, the GCC and UK.” INK's Judit said most of the guests are from Saudi Arabia, the UK, Russia, India, Poland and Hungary. “As for the type of travellers, we are seeing families, solo travellers, and corporate groups - and our hotel seems to be most popular with couples.”
Palace Downtown Hotel – Dh9,150
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi – Dh1,500 per person (Dh750 for kids)
Dusit Thani – Dh1,900 to Dh2,900
Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa- Dh4,480 – Dh32,000 (suite)
Burj Al Arab – Dh19,000 to Dh55,000
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 2,900
Raffles Dubai – Dh3,200
Address Dubai Mall Hotel – Dh11,200
W Hotel Yas Marina – Dh1760
Downtown hotel apartments – Dh40,000
Downtown studio apartment – Dh13,000
Fully furnished villa on Palm Jumeirah – Dh78,000
W Hotel Yas Marina – Dh3,700
The Cove Rotana, RAK – Dh3,000 (approx.)
Palace Downtown Hotel – Sold out for NYE weekend
Address Dubai Mall Hotel – Dh13,025
Atlantis The Palm – Sold out for NYE weekend (Dh150,000 for the Neptune Underwater Suite)
W Hotel Yas Marina – Dh3,670
The Cove Rotana, RAK – Dh3,225
*All prices are inclusive of taxes for 2 adults. Source: Booking.com, hotel websites