Abu Dhabi hotel occupancy rises to highest since pandemic began

Hotels in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, were 68.5 per cent full last month.
Hotels in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, were 68.5 per cent full last month.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (BLOOMBERG) - Hotel occupancy in the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) surged in June to the highest level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, were 68.5 per cent full last month, according to preliminary data from research firm STR.

Revenue per available room, a key measure of profitability, was 219.81 dirhams (S$80.60), the highest since February.

Room rates have also risen in neighbouring Dubai, STR said earlier this year.

The emirate is hosting the Expo 2020 international exhibition in October, and is aiming for 25 million unique visits in what it hopes will be a significant boost to the key tourism sector.

The year-over-year percentage increases are "substantial" because of the comparison with the months most affected by the pandemic in 2020, STR said.

The UAE has largely shunned lockdowns since emerging from one last year.

While Abu Dhabi has announced some curbs and plans to restrict public spaces to vaccinated people from August, Dubai remains largely open.

Still, restrictions on travel remain.

The United States has raised its travel warning for the country to its highest level, Saudi Arabia has temporarily prohibited travel, and the UAE has been on a "red list" for travel to the United Kingdom since January.