The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reportedly ‘driving the recovery of the hotel industry’ in the Middle East region.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi topped the Middle East with 62% occupancy rate last month, Zawya reported citing September 2020 data released by hospitality industry data provider STR.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s hotel industry registered highest occupancy rate at 45% since February this year, thereby, recording the second consecutive month after August with an occupancy level above 40%.

However, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) continue to remain low despite a significant improvement from record lows this year as a result of the pandemic impact.

Colliers International MENA senior consultant Thuku Kimani was quoted by the news agency as stating: “The Covid-19 pandemic has substantially impacted the Middle East, and Africa Region’s hotel sector as airlift, domestic travel and hence hotel demand levels dropped at almost 30-40 percent as of YTD June 2020 year-on-year.”

However, Kimani said that a better understanding of coronavirus allowed governments to lift restrictions from Q3-2020 to allow for the opening-up of economic activity, which also included travel.

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CBRE Middle East Hotels & Hospitality senior manager Hotels & Hospitality Bruno Trenchard said: “We understand that some of these markets have benefited from quarantine stays and long-term guests that helped boost occupancy rates during the initial months where travel restrictions were put in place.”

Bruno added that the markets relying highly on ‘leisure tourism and international visitors’ were the most affected markets across the Middle East.

Qatar recorded the highest occupancy level at 57% last month at the country level, according to STR.

The hotel market in the UAE recorded 48.7% rate occupancy rate, better than the Middle East’s overall occupancy level of 43% last month.

Hotel occupancy rates in Oman plummeted in April this year due to the impact of Covid-19 and related restrictions.