UAE hotels are reporting robust occupancy levels of 70 to 90 per cent for the upcoming Eid holidays. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: As airfares to popular holiday destinations hit unprecedented levels, UAE residents are leaning towards staycations at local hotels this Eid Al Fitr, according to operators. And hotels across the country, especially beachside resorts, are rolling out attractive deals and staycation packages designed to cater to UAE residents and GCC visitors, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Eid Al Fitr, expected to fall on April 9, may see the holidays lasting six to nine days.

These packages, priced between Dh500 and Dh1,500 (depending on the hotel), are considerably cheaper than holiday packages, where starting prices average Dh2,500 to Dh5,000 per person (depending on the destination). Average Dubai to India fares have already hit highs of Dh1,899 to Dh1,600; Dubai- London fares are averaging at Dh5,396, and flights to European destinations are also averaging at Dh4,600 to Dh5,700.

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In total hotel inventory, including 5-star hotels and hotel apartments, 823 hotel establishments offer 150,408 hotel rooms in Dubai alone.

100% occupancy rates?

UAE hotels, including those in Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, are reporting robust occupancy levels of 70 to 90 per cent for the upcoming Eid holidays, at least 10-15 per cent higher than last year. Some hotels are expecting 100 per cent occupancy rates.

"With the pleasant weather conditions, upcoming school holidays, and Dubai being recognised as the best travel destination in the world, demand is (definitely) on the rise," said a spokesperson for H Hotel in Dubai.

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“We expect occupancy levels to range between 70 and 90 per cent for the upcoming Eid Al Fitr holidays, a significant increase from last year's figures of approximately 10-15 per cent.” The spokesperson added, “This surge in demand is primarily attributed to the growing interest of staycationers and visitors from the GCC market, showcasing a notable boost in local tourism.”

ADRs expected to soar

In Dubai, average daily rates (ADR) peaked at Dh643 for the January-February 2024 winter tourism season, marking a 7 per cent increase from Dh603 in 2023. ADR is a hospitality benchmark measuring the average rental revenue earned for an occupied room daily.

ADRs are expected to soar during the upcoming festive season. “In anticipation of heightened demand, The H Dubai is well-prepared for an increase in Average Daily Rates (ADRs),” said the spokesperson.

“We are expecting the ADR to grow by 5 per cent during this time,” said Lina Yousif, Head of People and Culture at Media One Hotel in Dubai. “Occupancies are expected to be at 90 plus levels. And we are expecting a 10 per cent increase in occupancy versus the previous Eid. Last year occupancies were 80 to 85 per cent,” she added.

Advance bookings

Hotels are also seeing bookings for staycation packages, a trend slightly unusual compared to the last-minute bookings UAE residents usually make. Eduardo Espiritusanto, General Manager of Occidental Al Jaddaf, said, “We have observed a significant surge in demand over the past few weeks, particularly from our key market, the UAE. This is higher than the demand seen during previous years.”

Espiritusanto said, “Compared to previous years, there is a clear trend of “staycation” booking for their upcoming Eid holidays well in advance than previous years. We’ve noticed that this demand comes from a diverse mix of nationalities amongst the residents of the UAE.”

Mid-scale or resorts?

Over the past year, UAE residents' preferences for staycations have also shown interesting shifts. “While beachside resorts have maintained their appeal, there is a noticeable trend towards mid-scale hotels in the city closer to tourist attractions, and we know that several factors drive this,” said Espiritusanto.

Hotels located in the heart of the city with convenient access to Dubai’s main family activities, attractions, and malls have witnessed a rise in demand from individuals seeking a blend of relaxation and exploration.

Families snap up staycation deals

Juan Carlos Reina, General Manager at Dukes the Palm, said the hotel expects a notable increase in family staycation bookings. “Larger suites or interconnected rooms are in high demand for accommodating family gatherings. Guests also prefer packages that include dining and leisure experiences, highlighting convenience and entertainment during their stay,” said Reina.


Residents typically allocate a budget ranging from Dh500 to Dh1500 per night for an overnight stay at the hotels, depending on the room category and included amenities.

According to Reina, the average duration of stay for local travellers is approximately two nights and three nights for those travelling from other GCC countries.