Hotels in the United Arab Emirates still feeling the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic according to new research.

In its latest forecast, Colliers International indicated that most hotels across the destination will end the year with less than half-empty occupancy levels, as uncertainty in the hospitality market continues.

The hospitality sector has been among the worst hit by the health outbreak, as international tourists and business travellers put overseas trips on hold.

Colliers’ analysis showed that all the hotels monitored in the UAE, except for the ones located in Ras Al Khaimah City, will have full-year 2020 occupancy rates at no more than 48 per cent, registering up to 50 per cent decline when compared to last year.

Colliers acknowledged that the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the travel and tourism market in the region.

“COVID-19 continues to weigh upon the travel and tourism sector, with government and industry bodies alike looking for a path towards a sustained recovery.

“While restrictions on movement and international travel have begun to ease, controlled and consistent growth will be the key to achieving previous levels of demand,” Colliers said.

However, it noted that the UAE market is expected to benefit from the build up to the hosting of the World Expo next year, while the overall market in the region is expected to start the recovery in the fourth quarter of the year.

Hotels located in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai have suffered the biggest drop in bookings this year, with full-year occupancy expected to average only around 39 per cent, followed by properties on Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) area, at 40 per cent occupancy rate, on average.