Middle East conference rates down 11.7 per cent

Residential conference rates fell by 11.7 per cent at hotels in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in November, according to the latest data tracking full-service hotels from HotStats.

The fall represented a price drop of more than US$35, as November represented a third consecutive month of profit decline for hotels in the region.

While top and bottom-line revenue at hotels in the region were ahead of the year-to-date performance due to the typical uplift in activity from the commercial segment, there was a distinct weakening in the sector as rates fell in both the residential conference and corporate (down 15.9 per cent) segments.

“The Middle East & North Africa hotel market continues to be challenged and, unfortunately, it is the base business that is now being hit the hardest, with crippling rate decline in the commercial segment over the last 36 months, including a drop of US$50 in the corporate segment and more than US$35 in the residential conference segment,” said Michael Grove, director of intelligence and customer solutions, EMEA, HotStats.

In Abu Dhabi, residential conference rates were down 12.3 per cent during the month.

The city’s hotels fared well in November in terms of profit, recording a 1.8 per cent increase in profit per room. November is typically a strong month of top- and bottom-line performance for hotels in Abu Dhabi, which is fuelled by demand from the Formula One Grand Prix.

And while total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) levels peaked for 2018 this month, at US$289.95, the year-on-year decline in this measure was as a result of falling revenue across all departments including rooms (down 3 per cent), food and beverage (down 3.8 per cent), conference and banqueting (down 8.1 per cent) and leisure (down 9.4 per cent), on a per-available-room basis.

In contrast to the performance of hotels in Abu Dhabi, properties in Amman recorded a 13.1-per cent year-on-year decline in profit per room in November.