Published on : Thursday, February 6, 2020
According to the 2019 Index Hotel Markets Report, Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to generate $44 billion (Dh161.59 billion) in revenue from tourism across the GCC. The report said that Dubai is aiming to complete 160,000 hotel rooms by October.
This incoming new supply will put pressure on average daily rates (ADRs), along with occupancy. Matthew Sexton, managing director and partner at SAY Studio, a Dubai-based design firm, said that it will be an enormously competitive time for the hospitality industry.
As the market prepares to host Expo 2020 from October 20 through April 10 next year, hotel rooms are being competitively priced for encouraging demand and for keeping up with accelerating room supply.
Tim Cordon, area senior vice-president at Radisson Hotel Group, Middle East & Africa, said that the hospitality market is “not at its peak performance as it was before.”
However, he added that “there are opportunities for select hotels with the right brands and the right operating model to do really well in Dubai — as the city becomes more internationally competitive.”
Experts are of the opinion that the influx of tourists and new demographics operating in Dubai, the hospitality sector is learning and adapting its strategies and offerings to meet the needs of this audience. “To stay ahead hotels have to constantly evaluate their offering,” said Sexton. He highlighted three fundamental focus areas to focus on for 2020 — customization, sustainability and refurbishments.
“It’s the beginning of the end for the traditional fixed-interior hotel room,” said Sexton.
Sexton added, “Guests can already customize things like what they watch by streaming their own content through the in-room TV or connecting to the speakers via Bluetooth.
But what hasn’t happened yet is rooms being designed in such a way that they become flexible, not your static single, double, twin, suite or family room. We envisage a space where gym bunnies are able to swap desks for yoga mats; parents can replace the TV for a play space and business travelers can add in router boosters and VOIP hardware.”
Hotel accommodation, which has traditionally been managed in a standard and uniform way, will need to adapt, since 61 per cent of global travelers prefer hotels to be priced in a way that allows them to add personalized options.