Serviced apartments provide all the comforts of a hotel while being comparatively cheaper. That probably explains the high demand for serviced apartments in the GCC/Dubai region. The huge influx of the expat working population in the region combined with the huge demand made on the existing hotels has led to a demand for serviced apartments.
A recent study showed that the serviced apartments business is seeing resurgence in the GCC region with close to 10% of business coming in from the relocation guests in the MENA region. Colliers International released a comprehensive report ‘The MEA Serviced Apartment Markets & Guest Experience Index’ which gave an insight into the Middle East and Africa’s serviced apartments markets.
Cheaper, offering home-like ‘facilities’, serviced apartments are in huge demand in the area. Cashing in on the trend, serviced apartments are ‘much in demand’ in GCC/Dubai. Let’s see why this is so.
As per the latest data, Dubai has the highest supply of serviced apartments. In terms of guest satisfaction, it is Doha, Abu Dhabi followed by Dubai. Also, to ensure that people don’t check back into the ‘hotels’, the serviced apartments are getting spiffier and offer more facilities at competitive prices. At the same time, serviced apartments owners are ensuring that the cleanliness standards, levels of services and offering value for money to would-be guests.
As such a lot of firms are capitalising on GCC’s increased demand for international ‘serviced apartments’ and entering the local market with interesting options. Private firms are opening sprucing up entire buildings and opening up new ‘serviced apartments’ to meet the demand. Research clearly shows that the demand for serviced apartments is no longer being generated by long-stay guests [read the expatriate families] but rather short-stay guests’ who visit on work, visit family or want to travel on limited budgets, and don’t prefer hotels.
It’s easy to understand the reasons behind the rise of serviced apartments. As a trend, serviced apartments enjoy higher ratings compared to even five star hotels. Guests and travellers alike, these days, prefer to feel the ‘environ’ of familiarity over five star hotels. Travelling is a part of everyday life since most jobs these days involve extensive travel. Rather than a hotel experience, people want a homely experience which scores competitively with the hotel facilities of cleanliness and housekeeping. Most guests prefer cooking on their own or there are community kitchens attached to these serviced apartments that serve the purpose.
Another reason why serviced apartments score high with most guests is because of the value factor. Most service apartments are priced well-below the five star rates though they offer similar services. When staying for longer periods, this works out cheaper and better than hotels. These apartments suit the executives on onsite visits, long-term travellers, expat population, etc. It works out much cheaper and as such, is a better bet for most.
No wonder, then that the serviced apartments concept has picked up so well globally; and, more so in the Dubai/GCC region, thanks to Dubai being recognized as the gateway to the world, its strategic location, influx of population with the economy doing so well, etc.