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UAE staycations fuel Premier Inn’s growth as bookings rise

Premier Inn
Premier Inn, owned by UK hospitality company Whitbread, has 11 hotels across the Middle East

Room bookings at British-owned hospitality company Premier Inn Middle East have increased this year, driven by a rise in Abu Dhabi and Dubai staycations.

Staycation reservations are a fifth higher for the June to September 2023 period than a year ago, it said in a statement.

The UAE accounts for half of reservations, taking the top slot for all of the hotelier’s bookings in the emirates, followed by India, the UK and Europe.

Bookings are likely to rise further as the company plans a series of promotional flash sale, the hotel said in a statement.

Simon Leigh, managing director, Premier Inn Middle East, said: “Government campaigns such as Kids Go Free and Dubai Destinations have further reinforced the UAE as a year-round destination for staycations and vacations.

“Our guests are taking advantage of seasonal events like Dubai Summer Surprises and our promotions on room rates, which always lead to a surge in demand. The relatively quiet period traditionally experienced at this time of year seems to be a thing of the past.”

Bookings are up at all Premier Inn hotels in the region, with Barsha Heights, Dubai Airport, Doha Airport and Abu Dhabi Capital Centre proving particularly popular.

Premier Inn, owned by UK hospitality company Whitbread, has 11 hotels across the Middle East. The hotel brand has more than 800 hotels in the UK and Ireland.

The UN World Tourism Organisation in May said the Middle East has become the first region to return to pre-pandemic tourism levels for a full quarter.

In the first three months of 2023, international visitor arrivals to the Middle East were 15 percent higher than in the same period of 2019, the UN agency said. The Q1 figure for the GCC was 33 percent, driven by increases in travellers visiting Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE was at No 12 with over 22 million visitors. The list is topped by France and Spain and the highest-ranked Mena country is Turkey, which is at No 4 with more than 50 million.