Dubai’s hotels are already 75% booked ahead of New Year’s Eve

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According to industry insiders, many hotels in Dubai have already received 75% of their Christmas and New Year’s Eve reservations, and they anticipate receiving 100% of them by the middle of the following month.

Despite the fact that the holiday season is still over 50 days away, a search indicates that 80% of accommodations are booked out for Christmas and 88% for New Year’s Eve.

During this yearly holiday season, which is often the busiest for the local tourism industry with robust reservations for hotels, airlines, and tour companies, Dubai sees a huge influx of visitors. Dubai’s pre-pandemic tourism numbers had already been surpassed, with 12.4 million visitors between January and September 2023. Consequently, industry participants anticipate that 2023 will set yet another record for reservations.

Reservations for the holiday days are already well underway, according to Central Hotels and Resorts’ general manager and chief operating officer, Abdulla Al Abdulla.

Between 19% and 75% of reservations at the group’s several locations in the emirate were made in advance during the final week of December, he said.

“We have every reason to anticipate full occupancy, reaching 100 percent, during both Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” he said.

Surpassing last year’s figures

“With advanced bookings currently at 50 percent and almost another full month to go, we are optimistic about achieving an exceptionally strong year-end performance for city hotels. This surge is mainly propelled by excitement and anticipation surrounding events and gigs taking place in the UAE over the next two months, which are attracting visitors from all over the world,” said Thomas Kurian, manager at Leva Hotels.

Because of the ongoing and planned activities, he predicts that hotels will have a record-breaking holiday season. The next two months seem quite good.

According to him, city hotels are in a favorable position due to the higher demand and advance reservations, which enables the hotel owners the ability to raise room rates by 20% over the same period the previous year.

The Shangri-La Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road is steadily seeing a rise in occupancy as the 2023 holiday season draws near.

“With our exceptional view of the Burj Khalifa, we are quickly nearing full occupancy and anticipate selling out soon. We are expecting to be full from December 27, 2023, till January 2, 2024,” said Tarek Medhat, director of sales and marketing, Shangri-La Dubai.

Jan Hanak, managing director of the Radisson Hotel Group in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar, echoed the remarks of his colleagues in the sector when he stated that bookings for Christmas and New Year’s Eve have already started.

“We are currently slightly ahead of last year’s figures in terms of business on the books for the festive season. However, it’s important to mention that, in the Dubai market, a significant portion of bookings tends to come in closer to the event dates,” he added.

Hanak also has high hopes of meeting the traditionally high demand for lodging during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve period, when 100% occupancy levels are expected.

Where are they coming from?

The general director of the Radisson Hotel Group disclosed that a wide variety of nations are making reservations for the holidays and New Year’s festivities.

“Notably, the domestic market is showing strong demand. The United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia, and India also contribute significantly to our bookings, reflecting the global appeal of our properties during the holiday season,” he said.

According to Abdulla Al Abdulla of Central Hotels and Resorts, the bulk of reservations come from well-known markets in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

According to Medhat, the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has made Dubai one of the world’s top travel destinations, making the Emirates a worldwide destination with its own attractions that draw tourists from all over the world during the holiday seasons.

-Patrick Bernardo

Chief Operating Officer

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