March 22, 2020 / 1:29 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 2-Emaar closes bookings at three more Dubai hotels as virus impact worsens

(Adds Emaar comment)

DUBAI, March 22 (Reuters) - Emaar Properties will not be taking bookings at three Dubai hotels for 10 weeks from Sunday, according to its hotel booking website, which sources familiar with the matter said was due to a collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Address Dubai Mall, Address Sky View and Palace Downtown cannot be booked from March 22 to May 31, the website shows.

Two sources said bookings had been closed because of weak demand. The United Arab Emirates has temporarily banned foreigners, except diplomats, from entering the country as it tries to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

“We can confirm that we are consolidating our business to specific hotels and locations based on dates and demands, in order to maximize guest experience, whilst we carry out essential maintenance and renovation works across select hotels,” an Emaar spokesman said.

The spokesman did not refer to any specific hotels or the impact of coronavirus.

Address Sky View, located in Dubai’s popular downtown area near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, is one of Emaar’s newest hotels. It opened in December.

Emaar, one of Dubai’s biggest hotel operators and partly owned by Dubai’s state investment fund, stopped bookings at three other hotels this month due to the outbreak, Reuters reported on March 9.

Other Emaar hotels remain open. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell Editing by Catherine Evans and David Holmes)

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