Dubai Liquidity Issues Mute Hotel Transactions
Despite many institutions turning to developed hotel markets to buy assets for long term yield potential the current lack of liquidity in Dubai is limiting hotel transaction volume. Unlike the flight of a great deal of hotel investment capital from Asia to purchase hotels in Australia with the promise of a solid developed market and ongoing yields, these buyers are coming up short in the Middle East.
Sellers are also a scarce breed with operating margins in the market retaining reasonable levels of profitability so while there may be some stress, there is little distress. It's not unlike the current transaction market in Thailand or Phuket for that matter and we are still seeing few banner hotel sales similar to the 1997 Asian financial crises. At that time many thought hotel trading would be fast and furious but it simply did not happen. What we do see is smaller assets trading though pricing is not rock bottom and the more developed markets attracting increasingly cautious buyers.