First half witnesses plunge in Dubai hotel rates by 26%

Hotels. com hotel price index has forwarded that during the first half of 2009, Dubai was a luring destination for travelers paying in US dollars, as average room rates for hotels plunged 26% during the mentioned period.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi witnessed its average room rates falling by nine percent year on year. The index specified a global fall by an average of 17% in hotel rates in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period rates in 2008. Thus, the hotel room rates across almost all continents touched their lowest levels in the last five years. The index revealed that in June 2009, hotel prices were more than one-sixth lower as compared to the year before, while the room rates were simply one percent above their level in January 2004, the year which saw the initiation of Hotel Price Index.

On the other hand, the British visitors who paid in authentic pounds for the hotel rooms, experienced a more modest four percent fall year on year and for those coming from UK, the rates went up by 15% in Abu Dhabi.

As per the index reports, "Abu Dhabi topped the charts in terms of average room rates for hotels at £173 (Dh1,047) for the first half of the year, followed by Moscow at £167, Geneva at £146, and New York at £139. The average per night room rate in Dubai hotels rested at £122 for the period January-June 2009, compared to £126 for the same period a year earlier."

However, for hotels in Abu Dhabi, room rate averaged at £173 in the first half of 2009, higher from £150 in the same period a year earlier.

A lesser number of British and Russian travelers came to Dubai in the first half of 2009 due to the changes in prices, while more visitors from the US and Italy visited the region.

But on the whole, Dubai was made a more attractive destination, even amidst a decline in tourism trade, due to a plunge in room rates from their previous peak levels.

Walter Lo Faro, Expedia's Director of Market Management for Middle East, said: "Dubai has seen one of the greatest drops in rates, making it an even more attractive tourist destination, while hotel prices in Abu Dhabi have also fallen significantly. As a result of the economic downturn we have seen a change in the profile of tourists visiting the UAE: fewer visitors are coming from the UK and Russia while we are seeing more tourists from Italy and the United States."

Analysts hope to see a prominent boost in Dubai's hotel industry during the Q4 or early 2010. Already, the hotel industry has gone through a steep drop in average hotel room rates in the first half of this year.