Hotels in Dubai have slashed their rates by up to 40 percent in a bid to attract tourists amid the global downturn.
The recession in Europe, the emirate’s largest tourist source market, has caused a steep decline in occupancy rates, forcing many hoteliers to revert to summer rack rates.
“Some five star hotels have reduced their rates by as much as 30-40 percent, which is similar to their summer prices,” said Amine Moukarzel, the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Golden Tulip group of hotels.
The number of tourists visiting the emirate has dropped since the downturn. In October, the most recent figures available, occupancy rates in Dubai fell by four percent, according to STR Global.
But hoteliers fear the last two months and the first half of 2009 could be worse as bookings have slowed. “Occupancy rates are a lot lower than the same period last year,” said Neil Rumbaoa, director of communications at the Shangri-La hotel in Dubai.