Dubai: Even as travel options open up, UAE residents are still planning short stays at local hotels - and that’s going to drive up rates during the upcoming holidays.
Five-star properties across Dubai are still charging rates seen during the peak winter season. A top hotel located in the Umm Suqeim area is charging close to Dh4,300 for a night, while at the iconic Burj Al Arab, guests will have to shell out Dh8,000.
Of course, there are the budget options too. Hotels in Ibn Battuta are charging only around Dh1,000 for a night, and properties in Jumeirah and Business Bay cost in the range of Dh700-Dh900 per room per night.
Most of the travellers are also utilizing the long weekend of the Holi festival in India and taking the opportunity to visit EXPO 2020 before it culminates on March 31.
“Staycation demand is still fairly strong across the main leisure markets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah,” said Christopher Lund, Director Head of Hotels at Colliers (Middle East & North Africa).
“Traditionally, staycations are most popular during weekends and school holiday periods - the upcoming Spring/ Easter school holidays and Eid al Fitr will be the next major spike for staycation demand. We would expect prices to increase versus similar periods last year.”
Dubai’s hotels are already gearing up for the upcoming break with discounts and offers. At Atlantis on the Palm Island, guests can stay five nights in the suites, while only paying for four nights. Another popular hotel – Anantara - has a staycation offer for UAE residents, which includes a 25 per cent discount on accommodation and spa.
If guests book with Fairmont Dubai right now, they can get a two-bedroom suite as well as Dh300 dining credit, which can be used in any of the restaurants in the hotel. Caesars Palace Dubai, located on Bluewaters island, is offering UAE residents a 20 per cent discount on rooms and also complimentary breakfast and dinner.
Jumeirah Al Qasr has a 30 per cent off on room rates, along with unlimited access to the Wild Wadi waterpark. The deal will also give guests spa time and early access to the hotel’s temperature-controlled pools.
Palazzo Versace has a ‘family stay and play’ offer, which includes an overnight stay, breakfast, dining discounts, spa voucher and tickets to certain attractions.
Over the last two years, UAE witnessed a staycation boom as resident holidaymakers flocked to local hotels in the absence of flight connectivity. It also made hotels realize the importance of tapping the domestic market.
In 2020, hotels in UAE were the world’s second busiest after China, thanks to government efforts to contain the spread of the virus and also promote destinations within the country.
Travellers are back
With countries dropping COVID-19 restrictions, travelers are back in full flow in Dubai, which hosted more than 7 million international overnight visitors between January and December 2021.
Emirates airline expects more than 700,000 passengers to depart from Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 over the course of the next two weekends, as travellers head off for their Spring break holidays. In addition to departures from Dubai, close to 620,000 passengers will be arriving on Emirates flights during that same period, as they make their way for holidays in Dubai and to experience Expo 2020 before it ends March 31.
With the robust return of international travel, hotels are less dependent on this (staycation) market. As a whole, we are expecting strong occupancy growth across the main leisure markets in 2022.
For those UAE relents who missed out this time, there will always be the next staycation deal - and they won’t have to wait long. Check out the Eid holiday break offers...