Rotana’s Capital Centre sees rise in long-stay guests

We speak to Karim Nahas, Complex General Manager, Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Centro Capital Centre, Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, for more insight.

“Before Covid, we obviously hosted international travellers, corporate businesses and many events and exhibitions at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which is right next door. We had a healthy occupancy and good rates.

“When Covid hit, the first two months the hotels were in bad shape but we were lucky in Abu Dhabi in general, and especially in our complex because we shifted our business to oil and gas and more local business. We saw a shift from people renting apartments to hotel apartments because of safety, hygiene and convenience in all aspects.

“So 2020 and 2021 total generated revenue was similar to pre-Covid, and of course, cost-saving initiatives made sure the bottom line was more or less the same as before the pandemic, which is great.”

In October, Abu Dhabi International Boat Show and in November, one of the biggest oil and gas exhibitions – ADIPEC – will play an important revenue role for the hotel cluster. “Bookings already look healthy with around 60 per cent occupancy. In December there are a couple more events and I am sure that there will be more smaller events being added in the fourth quarter.”

The family market – local staycations – have been popular in the summer from mid-June to end of August, over the weekends and during festive breaks. “Even though we are not a beach location, people still come because they want a nice place to stay, good value for money, and then they can go to Yas Island and into the city for entertainment.”

In the short term, now that the restrictions are removed, more local events will happen in ADNEC but internationally it takes time to confirm big events with the bidding process, Nahas says. “I think in Q3 and Q4 of 2022, there will more international events and exhibitions. Yas Island is home to major events such as Formula 1, FINA World Swimming Championships and the UFC - and these big events not only feed Yas hotels, the overflow comes to us because we the nearest hotels within driving distance.”