The outlook for hotels in the Middle East and North Africa is “positive” in 2022, with most markets in the region expected to improve on last year’s performance as Covid-related security measures -19 are helping to cushion the long-term impact of the pandemic on the recovery, according to Colliers.

Dubai hotels are expected to be the busiest in the region this year, with occupancy rates as high as 74% in some areas, while Kuwait hotels are expected to see the lowest occupancy rates of 26%, according to the data.

“The priority for most markets in 2022 remains measures to minimize a resurgence of Covid-19 [and] build consumer confidence in key source markets,” the report says. “For some markets, the main challenge will be to manage demand disruptions in key markets in the CIS regions.”

Russia and Ukraine are among the main Eastern European source markets for several tourist sites in the region, but the escalation of the conflict has caused an increase in flight cancellations to and from Russia, according to data from travel trends firm ForwardKeys.

A slump in travel to Russia will also take a toll on economies dependent on tourism, he said. The countries likely to see the biggest impact are Armenia – which depends on Russia for 47% of all visitors – Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Seychelles, Maldives and Cyprus.

“Growing instability in key CIS source markets is expected to suppress demand. However, the diversity of source markets for the UAE can be leveraged at lower price positioning to mitigate the impact,” the report states.

In the Mena region, hotels in the United Arab Emirates are expected to be among the best performers in terms of occupancy rates this year, according to the report.

The six-month-long Expo 2020 Dubai which ends on March 31 has had a “positive effect” on all markets in the United Arab Emirates, while the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is expected to cause excessive demand towards the markets. major transit centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. , said Colliers.

Average hotel occupancy in Dubai is expected to be 71%, 60% in Abu Dhabi, 66% in Sharjah, 63% in Ras Al Khaimah and 62% in Fujairah.

In Saudi Arabia, hotel occupancy rates in 2022 will range from 66% in Riyadh and 57% in Jeddah to 41% in Mecca, 44% in Medina and 59% in Al Khobar, according to the data.

The Riyadh Season entertainment festival and growing consumer confidence has benefited both the Riyadh and Jeddah markets, Colliers said. The recovery in demand for religious tourism has also improved the outlook for Mecca and Medina.

“Rising oil prices have historically driven increased demand from businesses in Al Khobar and Dammam and will be watched as the year progresses,” the report said.

Oil prices rose above $130 a barrel this week, their highest level since 2008, after President Joe Biden announced that the United States would ban imports of crude, gas and coal from Russia, intensifying their sanctions against the world’s second largest energy exporter, after its military offensive. in Ukraine.

In Qatar, Doha recorded a high level of demand in 2021 which exceeded 2019 levels, according to the report.

“Further improvement is expected in 2022, with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be a key driver in the final quarter of the year,” he said.

Hotels in Muscat, the Omani capital, will see occupancy rates of 46% this year, while those in Manama in Bahrain can expect an average occupancy rate of 44%.

Outside the GCC, the opening of new attractions in the Egyptian capital of Cairo should help attract more visitors, as well as the opening of new hotels.

Hotel occupancy rates are expected to reach 64% in Cairo this year, 58% in Hurghada and 54% in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“Increased travel uncertainty from key CIS markets is expected to have the biggest impact on the Red Sea markets of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada,” Colliers said.

Elsewhere in the region, Covid-19 restrictions have been eased for incoming travelers to Jordan from March, including the lifting of PCR testing requirements.

Hotels in Aqaba and Amman are expected to record occupancy rates of 43% in 2022.

“Given the significant demand for tours in the market, this should improve demand later in the year,” Colliers said.

In Lebanon, which is facing an economic collapse, the hotel occupancy rate in Beirut will decline slightly year-on-year to 42%.

Updated: March 10, 2022, 4:30 a.m.