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July 2009 Performance of Hotels in Middle East / Africa

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According to data compiled by STR Global, the Middle East / Africa region saw its occupancy levels drop 11% year-on-year to 62%, while ADR decreased 3% to US$135.02, and RevPAR decreased 13.6% to US$83.77.

The Middle East / Africa region posted mixed performance in July in local currency, with the Middle East improving on Junes data and Southern Africa showing significantly worse figures, said James Chappell, managing director of STR Global. RevPAR growth in the Middle East finally showed some signs of improvement, with the United Arab Emirates and Dubai making significant gains. The UAE improved from a RevPAR fall of almost 28% in June to just over a 20% decrease in July, with Dubai [part of the UAE] rising from a RevPAR decrease of 33.9% to a 24% decrease, with both occupancy and average rates showing an increase month to month. Ramadan is earlier this year and that may have caused a flurry of travel in advance of the holiday. August and September are traditionally quiet months for the region. South Africa had two large football tournaments in June, which are being seen as a precursor to next years World Cup, and the July figures pale in comparison, with RevPAR falling from a 5.8% decrease to a 4.1% decline in July as the occupancy and rate levels both declined.

Highlights from key markets in the Middle East / Africa region (percentages are July 2009 vs. July 2008):

Beirut, Lebanon, reported the largest increases in all three key metrics. Occupancy was up 16.9% to 86.6%, ADR rose 48.9% to US$295.71, and RevPAR jumped 74% to US$256.15.

Cape Town, South Africa, was the only other key market to post an occupancy increase, up 4.5% to 52.2%.

Three markets experienced occupancy decreases of 20% or more: Muscat, Oman (-29.1% to 34.7%); Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (-28.4% to 51.7%); and Johannesburg / Pretoria, South Africa (-20% to 62%).

Other than Beirut, three other key markets reported double-digit ADR increases: Cape Town (+14.8% to US$115.87); Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (+12.6% to US$187.28); and Amman, Jordan (+12.5% to US$150.31).

Istanbul, Turkey (-23.5% to US$198.59) reported the largest ADR decrease, followed by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, with a 16.4% decrease to US$164.48.

Cape Town posted a double-digit RevPAR increase of 19.9% to US$60.45.

Five markets experienced RevPAR decreases of more than 20%: Istanbul (-33.2% to US$130.27); Muscat (-31.9% to US$62.17); Riyadh (-24.6% to US$119.01); Dubai (-24.1% to US$107.09); and Johannesburg / Pretoria (-21.1% to US$66.27).

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