Speaking to sister title Arabian Business, OYO’s Middle East head Manu Midha said the hospitality chain has remained fully operational in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.“Our revenue fell and occupancies dropped by over 50 to 60 percent. This is lower than the industry benchmark where global leading hotel chains have experienced drop in revenues by as much as 75 percent,” he said.
Like other hospitality groups in the region, Midha is hoping for a faster recovery in the UAE and Saudi than in other markets. He explained: “While these are early days yet, the signs so far have been promising with our available capacity have almost doubled from April and our RevPAR has increased in May.”Echoing Hotelier Middle East’s findings in August, Midha said OYO plans a significant portion of its recovery to come from the rise of long-stay bookings.
“These included extending the stay for customers who couldn’t return home, special deals for stranded travellers and office employees, campaigns to support medical professionals as well as tie ups with hospitals and companies,” he said.“Supporting our partners and the community through these initiatives will continue to be a priority in the short term.”
Last summer, OYO revealed it had plans to reach 12,000 rooms in the UAE by 2020, with 150 hotels across all seven emirates. It’s unclear how the virus has changed these plans.