Hotel room rates in Dubai are beginning to dip as the economic crisis bites into spending in the leisure and business sectors, industry insiders say.

Four- and five-star properties in the emirate have cut room rates between 10 per cent and 30 per cent, Aloke Dey, the manager of Sharaf Travel Holidays, one of the largest Dubai-based tour operators, said yesterday. “Right now, we are finding that there is a lot of availability and hotel prices are so much lower than last year.”

Avtar Singh, the director of operations at Lama Tours, also based in Dubai, agreed. “Our business right now is a lot slower and bookings are down by at least 10 per cent. I think that people are really starting to cut back on their spending because of the crisis, even after hotels have slashed their rates.”

He said many Dubai hotels had removed their surcharges.

The National