Middle Eastern hoteliers are hearing good things as Muscat, the capital of Oman, reported the highest growth in revenue per available room in 2014 among GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.
The Times of Oman reported that Muscat's RevPAR grew 6.6 percent, and is forecast to continue on to grow 6.6 percent again in 2015, cited a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"It has been an exceptionally good market for Oman as most of the hotels performed well during the summer months also, generally considered a lean season," Vijay Handa, GM of the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve & Masirah Island Resort, told the Times of Oman.
Statistics from PwC further show that Oman's hospitality sector also recorded a strong growth in other areas during 2013, with occupancy rates rising to 77 percent during the country's peak season and hanging around 68 percent throughout the year.
“Travel to the Middle East is expected to grow strongly over the next 10 years, with the region’s strategic location and investment in airports and infrastructure, establishing it as an important global hub," Viren Lodhia, PwC ME hospitality and leisure lead partner, told the Oman Tribune. "Combining this with future mega events being held in the region and an emergence as a magnet for both MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions) and shopping travelers, provides for a wealth of opportunities for both hotel operators and owners.”
According to Gulf News, Muscat's RevPAR growth was followed closely by Dubai (6.5 percent) and Doha (5.2 percent). Forecasts place Dubai's RevPAR growth in 2015 alongside Muscat at 6.6 percent, and Doha's at 5.4 percent. Despite this good news, PwC forecasts low ADR growth in Riyadh, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi, where occupancy is the principal driver of these markets.
This growth is RevPAR is good news for Dubai, which recently began taxing all tourism in late March. The emirate has struggled with debt and has been looking for ways to help pay for its Expo 2020 project, which is expected to cost $8.6 billion to fund.