UAE: Residents prefer local hotels in Eid Al Fitr amid rising airfares

According to business operators, UAE citizens are choosing to spend their forthcoming Eid Al Fitr at local hotels due to the skyrocketing cost of travel to popular vacation spots.

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Travelers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the target audience for hotels, especially those by the beach, since they are offering attractive offers and staycation packages. It is expected that the holidays will last for six to nine days, starting on April 9 with Eid al-Fitr.

These staycation packages, priced between Dh500 and Dh1,500, present a more economical alternative compared to holiday packages, which typically start at Dh2,500 to Dh5,000 per person, contingent on the destination. Airfares from Dubai to various locations, such as India and Europe, have surged significantly, further incentivizing locals to opt for domestic getaways.

The hotel landscape in Dubai alone boasts an extensive inventory, with 823 establishments offering a total of 150,408 rooms, spanning from luxurious 5-star accommodations to cozy hotel apartments.

Anticipating robust occupancy rates ranging from 70 to 90 percent, UAE hotels across Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai are gearing up for a busy Eid season, with some venues even projecting full occupancy. Factors such as favorable weather, upcoming school holidays, and Dubai's reputation as a premier travel destination contribute to the heightened demand.

Average Daily Rates (ADRs) in Dubai have seen a 7 percent increase from the previous year, reaching Dh643 for the January–February 2024 winter tourism season. With expectations of heightened demand during the festive season, hotels are preparing for a potential 5 percent increase in ADRs.

Advance bookings for staycation packages are witnessing an unusual trend, with UAE residents showing a preference for planning their Eid holidays well in advance compared to previous years. This surge in demand is attributed to a diverse mix of nationalities among UAE residents.

Preferences for staycations have evolved over the past year, with a noticeable shift towards mid-scale hotels in the city, closer to tourist attractions. Families, in particular, are seizing staycation deals, opting for larger suites or interconnected rooms to accommodate gatherings.

Residents allocate budgets ranging from Dh500 to Dh1,500 per night for hotel stays, depending on room categories and included amenities. The average duration of stay for local travelers is approximately two nights, while visitors from other GCC countries tend to extend their stays to three nights.

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