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10,000 Dubai hotel rooms in need of refurbishment

EC Harris estimates that over 10,000 five-star hotel rooms in Dubai are now in need of refurbishment, placing significant burden on hotel operators and owners as they consider taking rooms out of operation to undertake the necessary work. There were an estimated 23,500 five star rooms in Dubai in 2012. The cost of a full refurbishment of these rooms alone is in the region of Dhs325,000 per room, plus adjacent areas and the opportunity cost of vacant rooms, representing a significant investment for the hotel operator and owner.

Christopher Seymour, Head of Property UAE at EC Harris said: "Some of the hotel assets in Dubai are now over 15 years old and to maintain the quality of the offering, protect the brand and meet customer expectations, refurbishment programmes are becoming a requirement."

"The quality of the hospitality accommodation in the UAE is very high and with the wave of new hotel construction in the pipeline, we will see some operators forced to undertake refit and refresh of their older hotel assets in order to remain competitive."

Ideally, refurbishment programmes should be targeted at quiet periods to reduce the revenue effect of taking rooms and facilities out of operation. However, that quiet period is seen to be reducing as the appeal of Dubai as a destination increases. Most operators now view the only ’window’ as late May to early September - a period of just 14 weeks.

Seymour continues, "Careful planning and programme management are very important to ensure success. Using tried and tested processes from the busy tourism markets of Europe and North America demonstrates that it is feasible to carry out major hotel refurbishments whilst remaining in operation."



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