DUBAI: Key hotel markets in the UAE have continued to improve, with average room occupancy rates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi nearing 70 percent, as the country launched a new campaign to promote the domestic travel market.

According to the latest industry figures from STR, for the week ended Dec. 6, Abu Dhabi had average occupancy levels of 69 percent, followed by Ajman (66.5 percent), Dubai (65.8 percent), Fujairah (62.4 percent), Sharjah (53.9 percent) and Ras Al-Khaimah (52.5 percent).

“The UAE is traditionally one of the strongest performance markets in the world; therefore, we expect the region to continue showing occupancy increases during the typically strong winter season, especially after the recent announcement of a UK-UAE travel corridor,” Philip Wooller, STR’s area director for the Middle East/Africa, said in a press statement. UAE hotel occupancy rates continue to recover

“International travel has been in the crossfire of the pandemic, but the UAE has done a fine job in generating domestic demand and staycations to move the occupancy line in the right direction. The UAE’s, Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s tourism organizations as well as Etihad and Emirates airlines have done a phenomenal job in preparing the way for international guests to return. While leisure demand continues to strengthen, the next phase is the prominent return of corporate business, followed by group demand and events as we’ve seen this week with the return of GITEX in Dubai and ATM in May,” he added.

During UAE National Day, on Dec. 2, hotels reported occupancy levels of 73.5 percent, the highest daily level since Feb. 28, reaching as high as 82.3 percent in Abu Dhabi.

The data comes as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, launched the new UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism, which aims to encourage residents to holiday within the country.

As part of a 45-day campaign, overseen by the Ministry of Economy, the country’s top landmarks and tourist attractions will be marketed to local residents.

“Domestic tourism spending in the UAE stands at AED 41 billion ($11.16 billion). With a solid federal collaboration, we can double the contributions of the domestic market and create new opportunities for the small business industries across the country,” Sheikh Mohammed was quoted as saying by WAM, the UAE state news agency.

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