STR’s Forward Star data finds that Eid al-Fitr celebrations are boosting hotel bookings in Middle Eastern markets.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of the Ramadan fasting period, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

STR account executive Kostas Nikolaidis commented: “While typically slower during Ramadan, leisure travel within the Middle East is set to resume during Eid. Many countries offer paid holidays for three to five days post-Ramadan, which is where we typically see spikes in occupancy. This year, however, Qatar announced an 11-day holiday, further extending the length of travel time available to celebrate the end of the Holy Month.”

What are the occupancy rates for hotels during Eid?

STR looked at hotels over the Eid travel period (as of 10 April), finding that Abu Dhabi and Dubai show occupancy on the books peaking on Saturday 22 April, at levels of 59.7% and 60.3%, respectively.

In Qatar however, occupancy on the books reaches its highest point on Sunday 23 April at 42.3%.

Nikolaidis added: “Qatar naturally operates at a lower occupancy when compared to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This year’s extended Eid holiday period in the market may lead to lower occupancy peaks as demand could spread across more days.

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“Overall, we are anticipating Eid to signal a return to the strong performance seen across the region lately, with Qatar projected to reach the 70% mark, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai expected to achieve occupancy above 80% during the holiday period.”

STR states that in 2022 during Eid, Dubai and Qatar’s occupancy spiked on 4 May at 88.8% and 78.2%. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi saw its highest occupancy level on 3 May at 85.4%.

Founded in 1985, STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. It was acquired by CoStar Group in 2019.

In April 2023, Hilton and IGH Hotels and Resorts both launched hotels in Saudi Arabia.