Deloitte and STR Global report Saudi Arabians are top visitors to Dubai

A total of 1.4m Saudi Arabians visited Dubai in 2013 and the kingdom was the leading source of tourists for the emirate in the year, according to the the first Middle East Hotel Market report by Deloitte and STR Global.

Key growth markets for Dubai are likely to comprise Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, India and Iran, the report adds.

The report says demand measured in rooms sold has risen by almost 80 per cent between 2006 and 2013.

“The growth in Dubai’s hotel supply in 2013 was more than matched by the growth in demand as evidenced by the rise in occupancy in 2013,” says Grant Salter, director, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure (THL) industry at Deloitte Middle East. “This rise in room supply and the ongoing growth in demand, when seen in the context of the wider global economic challenges, points to a very robust hotel market.”

In 2006, Dubai had 233 hotels wwith almost 39,000 rooms across all sectors of the market, including 152 unaffiliated or independent hotels. By Q1 2014, this total stock of hotels had grown by almost 48 per cent with the addition of 111 new hotels.

Dubai’s branded hotel market grew by over 105 per cent from 81 hotels in 2006 to 167 in Q1 of 2014.

“Despite the large supply growth in Dubai over the past few years, the market has been able to absorb the supply, and performance continues to tick upward”, said Phillip Wooller, Area Director, STR Global. “Demand continues to stay strong, and in 2013 the luxury segment’s demand was back to its previous peak levels. Average Daily Rates for luxury hotels in Dubai rose 3.5 per cent in 2013.”

Wooler said that STR Global expects Dubai’s occupancy to report slight declines in 2014 and 2015. Average daily room rates and revenue per available room will continue to grow at a slower pace than the previous years.”