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Qatar leads regional hotel occupancy figures

STR released March data on the Middle East’s top-performing countries

Qatar’s March hotel occupancy rates were the highest in the region according to new research from STR. With occupancy rates last month at 71.2%, Qatar pulled ahead of the UAE, which had a rate of 62%. 

The UAE has long been the region’s tourism and hospitality hub, with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah on an upwards trajectory prior to the pandemic. The UAE’s March results were 23.9% down against the same time in 2019, while Qatar’s were down 0.4%. 

Third place, in terms of occupancy, was Bahrain with 54.4% – a 13.8% drop against 2019 results. STR credited the recent F1 Grand Prix held in Manama held on 26 March, for boosting the occupancy rate to 73.7%.

Other destinations in the Middle East have had a tough start to 2021, but have started to see recovery in March. Oman saw occupancy fall as low as 32.1% in January before reaching 68.8% early in March.

The report stated that some countries are much further ahead in vaccinating their population and that this will help to further bolster domestic demand and bridge the gap somewhat until international travel returns.

Overall, the Middle East reached 54% hotel occupancy in March.

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