A new report from Colliers International Hotels suggests one of the key strengths of the serviced apartment business model in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar is its versatility to change the target market profile between long and short stay to suit market conditions and maximize revenue.

Brand strength is a strong driver of serviced apartment demand with GDS, direct bookings, and hotel website bookings accounting for 40% of total bookings. A strong brand with a regional presence and strong online capabilities is essential to help and drive sales in all three markets, according to Colliers.

Here is Colliers summary of market conditions for the serviced apartment segment in the UAE, KSA and Qatar:

The first six months of 2013 has seen positive growth for serviced apartment occupancy levels in the UAE. During this period, occupancy levels have increased by 8.2% in Dubai, 5.5% in Abu Dhabi, and 20.3% in Sharjah. This sharp increase in Sharjah is indicative of an improving market after years of stagnation, although this has come at the cost of the average rate. Market potential: 2,836 units over and above the forthcoming supply across Dubai and Abu Dhabi between 2013 and 2017.

serviced apartment Dubai

There is a considerable gap between the locally branded furnished apartment supply and internationally branded serviced apartments such as inconsistent service standards, poor construction standards and a lack of ancillary facilities. As such only ‘first class’ furnished apartments can be considered to be competitive with internationally branded serviced apartments. Market Potential: 6,495 units over and above the forthcoming supply between 2013 and 2017. The primary scope for development of these units are in the Province of Makkah, which contains the two key cities of Makkah and Jeddah.

The vast majority of serviced apartments are located in Doha, of which 79% of the total unit stock is currently classified in the ‘deluxe’ category and 21% is classified in the ‘standard’ category. Whereas serviced apartments in the UAE mainly target short stay guests as a means to maximize revenue, this is not the case in Doha, in which the long stay segment represents 74% of total demand. Market potential: 525 serviced apartment units over and above the forthcoming supply between 2013 and 2017.

Source: http://www.hotelsmag.com