SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA–(Marketwire – November 22, 2010) – Leading hotel search engine, HotelsCombined.com, today announced hotel popularity is at an all-time high in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.
Trends online indicate the continued rise in popularity across the Gulf region as a whole is strongly related to drops in hotel prices across most of the top destinations — great news for travelers.
Spokesperson, Hichame Assi, Head of Strategy and Online Marketing for HotelsCombined.ae, said, “Boosted by big price drops by hoteliers online, Dubai remains the most popular destination for business and leisure, but Sharjah and Kuwait City both showed more potential with significant YOY growth.”
Dubai retained its position as most popular destination in the Gulf with an increase of 158% this year, followed by Abu Dhabi in 2nd place with a 141% increase. Manama continued to retain 3rd place with a 108% increase, followed by Doha in 4th place with a 118% increase. Sharjah, in 5th place, was the biggest mover with a 245% increase leapfrogging Muscat in 2011 which follows in 6th place. Although Kuwait City enjoyed an increase in popularity of 200%, it remains the least popular capital in the Gulf with the most expensive average night rate. Saudi Arabian destinations were excluded from the analysis, due to the large impact of the Hajj, Umra and Ramadan on its main cities.
The online trend of rising popularity correlates with price drops across the board. The average price of a room in Abu Dhabi was down the steepest by 26% year-on-year (to US $128 on average), by 24% in Dubai (to US $106), by 19% in Manama (to US $145), by 18% in Sharjah (to US $69), by 9% in Kuwait City (US $166), by 7% in Doha (to US $130) and by 5% in Muscat (to US $161).
The only city to see any changes in average length of stay was Muscat, which saw an increase from 3 nights to 4 nights per stay. The rest of the Gulf cities remained the same despite the drop in hotel prices. Travelers are staying the longest in Dubai and Sharjah with an average nightly stay of 5 nights, whilst travelers to Kuwait City and Manama only booked for an average of 3 nights.
“We wanted to see what impact the GFC and the much publicized debt default by Dubai in 2009 would have on online travel patterns in selected Gulf destinations. We were pleasantly surprised, when we concluded our analysis, to find that online demand for the major cities had increased significantly year-on-year. It’s good to see that the region is as vibrant as ever,” added Hichame.
Online media release with hotel price data: http://press.hotelscombined.com/Press-Releases/Hotel-Popularity-Hits-Record-High-in-Arab-States-of-Persian-Gulf.php
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HotelsCombined.com is the world’s leading hotel price comparison search engine. The site streamlines more than 2,500,000 real-time international hotel deals simultaneously, aggregating prices from online travel agents and hotel chains, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity.com, Agoda.com, Accor Hotels, Hilton, Choice Hotels, Best Western and Intercontinental Hotel Group. With no mark-up fees or additional booking fees, HotelsCombined.com offers travelers a completely free service to find the best available hotel deals.