With the official first day of summer ushered in last week and tourist activities in full swing, the prices of cabins at some of the well-known resorts in North Obhur in Jeddah have doubled or even tripled.
Blue Beach Resort, a family resort that only rents on an annual basis, used to charge between SR 25,000 and SR 30,000 for a two-bedroom cabin a year ago. Now the rents are between SR 60,000 and SR 75,000.
When asked about the reason for this steep hike, Mohammed Al-Masri, a guard responsible for managing the resort, said: "The main reason for the price increase is the upgrade in facilities and refurbishment we have just completed."
Al-Masri added that the resort is also considered very safe, as it only rents to families on an annual basis, whereas other resorts rent to tourists from across the Kingdom and the region.
Likewise, the prices in Al-Nakheel Resort have risen from SR 3,000 to SR 4,800 for a weekend cabin and from SR 3,050 to SR 4,030 for weekdays.
Durrah Beach Resort has also increased its prices for the summer season with a typical villa costing between SR 110,000 and SR 250,000 and apartments priced at SR 60,000 per year.
The resort also offers standard suites and bungalows that cost SR 1,500 per night, while a diplomatic suite and a royal suite amount to SR 2,500 and SR 3,500 per night, respectively.
Coral Beach Resort's prices range from SR 4,500 for a weekend cabin that includes a private pool in the residence to SR 1,500 per night on weekdays for the same cabin. Mainly all the resorts offer amenities such as public, ladies and children's pools, restaurants, cafes, playgrounds and boat or jet-ski rentals.
However, due to the price increases not everyone is smiling this summer. Visitors that voice their disappointment are saying that instead of raising prices, resort owners should run special discount promotions to attract more business.
"My family was planning on staying for several days, but upon arriving at the resort and taking notice of the price increases, we could only afford to stay over the weekend," Khalood Bashwan, a university student from Makkah, said.
She further said that it was unfortunate that Jeddah's resort owners saw the summer season as the time to drastically increase prices. "If you travel to tourist attractions in Asia, Europe or the US, it is normal for tourists to find special discounts, but in the Kingdom it is quite the opposite," Bashwan claimed, adding that prices of tourist sites should be monitored and controlled by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
Nonetheless, one resort that has realized it pays off to market having the lowest price is Andalus Village.
"Instead of increasing prices, as most resorts do, we decided to work to be among the resorts with the lowest prices," Yahya Mohammed Al-Naser, manager of Andalus Village, said.
He explained that the resort was currently offering a three-day weekend package, which includes a three-bedroom cabin, for SR 2,400 to SR 2,700, depending on the cabin's proximity to the beach, and a week-long package for SR 4,200 to SR 4,500 for the same cabin.
Al-Naser concluded by saying that since they had launched the promotion last week, the resort had remained fully booked with many cabins already reserved into next week.