It is a good time to be a hotelier in Dubai. TRI Hospitality Consulting recently reported that occupancy hit 89.6 per cent in January for four and five-star properties, a 4.2 per cent increase on 2012.

Property developers in Dubai are clearly aware of the statistics and many are starting to build new projects to capitalise on the demand. Last year, major construction contracts were awarded for the Habtoor Palace hotel, a new Four Seasons, The Address BVLD, and the Al-Fattan Crystal.

These contracts combined were worth billions of dirhams for Dubai’s construction sector, giving the industry a much needed boost after three years of recession.

More work should be awarded this year. Nakheel is planning to tender a new hotel tower as part of its upcoming mall development on the Palm Jumeirah. Kuwait’s Al-Osaini Investments is currently tendering the contract to build its new resort on the Palm Jumeirah’s Crescent.

The confidence is spilling over to neighbouring markets. Occupancy in Abu Dhabi for January was 71.7 per cent, a 10.8 per cent increase on the 2012. Like Dubai, this is giving developers the confidence to build new properties.

In February, the contract for the construction of the new Fairmont hotel on Abu Dhabi island was awarded, and a contractor has now been selected to build the Four Seasons at Abu Dhabi’s new financial centre on Maryah Island.