Abu Dhabi Cuts Tourism Tax

Reuters reports officials in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, have decided to “reduce tourism-related fees” after seeing significantly fewer international visitors than neighboring Dubai. The Department of Culture & Tourism announced plans to drop tourism fees from 6% to 3.5%. The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash. “It is necessary to support this sector as it experiences difficulties to allow it to contribute to the achievement of future goals.”


Middle East Metrics Drop as Africa climbs

While often viewed collectively, the Middle East and Africa have diverged in terms of hotel operating metrics of late, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR. Here’s a look at how the two regions fared in January. 


  • Middle East: Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) fell 9.6% year over year to $105.16 as occupancy dropped 0.9% to 68.2% and Average Daily Rate (ADR) decreased 8.9% to $154.18. 
  • Africa: RevPar up 2.4% to $64.06, ADR up 2.1% to $120.06 and occupancy increased 0.3% to 53.4%.


Quality, the Focus for Indian Ocean Investors

Reporting from the Gulf & Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit, HNN’s Terence Baker writes investors still believe markets like The Maldives, Oman and Mauritius are driven by the quality of their high-end offerings.  “We concentrate on premium as the mass will follow that,” said Zoltan Kali, SVP of assets and fund management of Oman-based Omran Hospitality.


Source: 14 March / Sean McCracken / Hotel News Now (HNN)