Covid 19 has hit the hospitality industry in the worst possible manner and it is not specific to UAE. However, UAE relies heavily on tourism and this pandemic has disrupted almost all forms of tourism and this has affected the hospitality industry as well.
The Middle East has seen an increase in the number of visitors. In fact, Middle East accounted for 9% of total tourists around the world in the year 2019 just before the pandemic. But even then, the revenue per room and operating profit decreased according to the HVS president for the Middle East.
UAE’s hospitality industry’s struggles increased right after the 2014 oil prices drop along with an exponential increase in the number of hotel assets. This has badly affected the industry as a whole.
After the pandemic, Abu Dhabi’s hotels reported a 90% drop in the RevPar yet having the same liabilities including interest, and loans, insurance, maintenance, and whatnot. This is not going to change in the near future because even if the tourists return, social distancing measures and max allowed capacity is bound to hit revenues.
This doesn’t only have an effect on hotel owners. Yes, they are the primarily affected but the country’s economy is also going to sustain a considerable drop because of this. This is the time for hoteliers to stay resilient and more cooperation can yield better results.
Now, having a great facility at a great location is not the only thing that travelers are considering these days. A survey shows that factors like governments’ response to the pandemic, safety measures in the region, etc. have a significant impact on the decision-making process of travelers. The hotels can’t do much in this regard and the industry will still have to struggle until the occupancy rises up to a decent percentage.
Some of thebest hotels in Dubai and the region have introduced measures like AllSafe labels. These labels represent the highest safety and health standards maintained in the hotel facilities. 5-star hotels in Dubai, UAE have gone further in providing utmost safety to the guest while trying to maintain human interaction as much as possible.
Contactless service is the new norm that hotels are following. Moreover, keyless entry and contactless check-ins and check-outs have given rise to newer technologies being implemented in the facilities. This is all a part of the process of bringing travelers back to the region because that is the only way of survival. Another reason is that hoteliers in Dubai want to keep Dubai as a probable destination in the minds of western travelers.
The hotel industry in the region has been following traditional ways but it is high time the newer ways are being introduced. It is time to introduce innovative solutions because a hotel today looks more or less the same as a hotel looked 10 years ago.
Hotels need to collaborate to bring in for example safety equipment. Because during these struggling times, hotels alone are not in a position to spend huge amounts to bring in safety equipment. This is when collaboration comes in and newer solutions must be put forward to materialize this.
Some hotels in Europe and some Asian countries have eliminated reception desks. This can be materialized here in the Middle East as well and it will cut costs as well as make the process better and seamless for the guests. Of course, a higher level of collaboration would be required with online agents and travelers to make the process easier.
Brands need to push for online presence and explore newer markets and channels to bring in more guests. That is the only way forward. The region’s hospitality industry has been hit badly by the pandemic but that is not the only reason, the industry has been facing issues for quite a few years now.
Decreasing profitability, increasing costs, and decreasing spending levels have pushed the hospitality industry towards the edge and it is high time that all the key players come together and create opportunities out of this crisis.
For more information about Seychelles Luxury Resort check out