Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
Global hotel pulse: Middle East/Africa news
19 AUGUST 2020 6:55 AM

Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region; : Saudi Arabia caps hajj travel; the worst May on record and more.

Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.

African investors to hold hotels through pandemic
HNN’s Terence Baker reports hotel investors in Africa are committed to being patient amid the ongoing turmoil, although operational changes are needed to ensure survival.

During the “What are the banks doing?” session of the Africa: Hospitality Tomorrow online conference, Betty Korir, CEO of Nairobi-based Credit Bank Ltd., said African hotels are in dire need of cash flow.

“That is the first criteria, and then to be profiled and appropriate funds correctly. We have to start making plans where (hotels) are in a position to pay down their debt. We can help by giving them, for example, reprieves in terms of interest repayments,” Korir said.

Baker’s other coverage from the conference included a lot at Nigeria’s larger owner and operator group, Transcorp Hotels, and how brands in Africa are adapting.

Israel and UAE form diplomatic ties
In a significant move for the region, leaders in the United Arab Emirates and Israel have announced the countries are establishing formal diplomatic ties, which followed Israel’s suspending plans to annex parts of the West Bank, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The newspaper notes the two countries have been brought closer together in part because of “shared enmity with Iran.”

Jeddah sees a challenging July
Preliminary data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR shows July saw significant year-over-year declines in the key performance metrics for hotels in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia.

A 57.9% drop in occupancy to 32.1% combined with a 36.8% drop in average daily rate to 769.35 Saudi Arabian riyals ($205.13) resulted in a 73.4% drop in revenue per available room to 247.17 Saudi Arabian riyals ($65.90).

While still significant year-over-year drops, these numbers showed improvement from June, and it marked the highest ADR level since October 2019 and the highest RevPAR level since February 2020.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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