Hotel apartments in Abu Dhabi are reporting a growth in their occupancy rates amid shortage of residential units and influx of visitors due to the continuous flow of events taking place in the city.
"We had set our forecast for January to be 82 per cent and we got an occupancy rate of 87 per cent. We set our forecast for February to be 85 per cent and we achieved 95 per cent, which is very good in such tough times. At the end, we are not aloof from this world even though the impact of credit crunch may vary from one place to another," said Ashraf El Sayegh, Director of Sales at the Al Manzel Hotel Apartments.
"Last year was much better where we used to get an average of 100 per cent occupancy rates on a daily basis," he said.
El Sayegh said such rates of occupancy in 2008 were due to the "sudden sharp jump in the rents of residential units in Abu Dhabi that caught many individuals and corporations by surprise and they had to find a place for them to live since they were brought to the country for work assignments."
"We are offering a similar five-star regular hotel service in this type of sector since it offers the convenience. In our residential units, which are composed of 216 rooms, the tenants have everything – the furniture, the clean up, laundry and so forth where you will have to pay extra in a hotel no matter how many stars it is classified," said El Sayegh. "Plus, there are many employees working in companies with contracts that offer them a residential allowance, but with the condition of not being a family-set accommodation and this is what is available in hotel apartments," he said.
Government departments, Etihad Airways, hospitals, medical centres are the main clients in the hotel apartment sector, said El Sayegh.
"The above average occupancy rates will remain the trend in Abu Dhabi. It may have marginal fluctuations. To my knowledge the number of events in Abu Dhabi for the month of March are less than they were in January and February. Accordingly, we are prepared for just marginal lower occupancy rates, but demand will remain stable," he said.
Nicole B Donato, who is the Front Office Manager of Platinum Hotel Apartments, said: "Surprisingly, we have been having a 100 per cent occupancy since the start of the year. And we did not feel any slowdown despite the tenants, whose percentage represented two per cent from the total occupancy, who had to leave due to the loss of their jobs."