Dubai tops Middle East cities on hotel performance

18 March 2024 3 min. read

A favorite of tourists from around the world, Dubai remains at the top of the regional hospitality markets, with a strong outlook for 2024. That is according to a new report from Deloitte.

One of the top cities in the GCC, Dubai has loads to offer its many visitors. Last year the bustling Emirati metropolis welcomed over 15 million visitors, with 19% coming from Western Europe and 18% from Southeast Asia – mainly India.

The city’s hotels saw a high-water mark of 88% occupancy in February of 2023, though the average for the year was around 77%, which is considered to be quite high in the hotel business. The average was up 7% on the previous year.

Dubai tops Middle East cities on hotel performance

In 2023, Dubai’s hospitality sector managed to surpass pre-pandemic levels, which cannot be said of all tourism hotspots, some of which are still struggling to get back on course. Data from the UAE Department of Tourism also shows that the average length of stay increased slightly in 2023.

Across its hotels landscape, Dubai enjoyed the highest hotel occupancy rate in the region in 2023. When compared with other major international cities, Dubai’s occupancy rate shines as on par with Hong Kong and slightly above cities like Madrid, Berlin, and Tokyo. The year-on-year change for Dubai was relatively low, however.

Dubai tops Middle East cities on hotel performance

Dubai is estimated to have a supply of 157,000 hotel rooms according to Knight Frank, with over 20,000 rooms in various stages of development set to enter the scene in the coming years.

Leading industry players are driving this growth. Market leader Accor currently has 71,820 rooms and has 49,510 more in the pipeline expected for completion by 2030. Following closely are Marriott, with 63,790 existing rooms and 52,790 planned; IHG Hotels & Resorts, with 35,140 current rooms and 22,120 in development; Hilton, with 33,450 rooms and 39,860 upcoming; and Radisson Hotels, offering 22,830 rooms and planning an additional 11,651.

As far as the regional market, Dubai’s hospitality sector reigns supreme, said Deloitte’s study. The only other occupancy rate that compares is that of the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi. Other cities in Saudi Arabia, long seen as a rival to the UAE, did not see the same level of success with tourists.

Dubai tops Middle East cities on hotel performance

A previous report showed that Dubai’s hotel sector is among the top performing in the world, having seen a remarkable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic lows. The city is universally recognized as a world-class destination for luxury tourism, offering top amenities, entertainment, and seaside relaxation.

In related news, Dubai was recently named one of the world’s top destinations for expatriate professionals.