Hospitality boom in GCC? Over 150,000 hotel rooms to come up: STR, ET TravelWorld

Hospitality boom in GCC? Over 150,000 hotel rooms to come up: STR, ET TravelWorld


A total of 159,424 rooms are in pipeline in the Gulf region at present, global market data provider for the hotel industry, STR, said in its report. According to the report, Saudi Arabia is leading the GCC’s tourism development activities with as many as 100,071 hotel rooms in pipeline.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are currently vying for the coveted title of being the world’s top destination for international tourism. The data released by STR, revealed that Dubai is the region’s second most active market with 27,095 rooms under contract, followed by Qatar (17,145), Oman (10,292), Bahrain (3,452) and Kuwait (1,369).

Hoteliers are predicting a surge in tourism during the upcoming Eid celebrations, which happen to coincide with the peak travel season. As a result, popular destinations are expected to experience a high influx of tourists, consisting of both GCC and international arrivals, as well as UAE residents.

Hotels in these areas are likely to see the demands soar and be fully booked during the holiday season. This will also lead to a considerable increase on the supply side of the hotel industry.

As of April 10, Abu Dhabi and Dubai show occupancy soaring on April 22, at levels of 59.7 per cent and 60.3 per cent, respectively. In Qatar, however, occupancy on the books is expected to reach its highest point on April 23 at 42.3 per cent.

More than 170,000 hotel rooms in the active development pipeline in GCC with Saudi & UAE leading the way

This is equivalent to 40 per cent of the GCC’s existing hotel room inventory, a figure almost four times greater than the rest of the world which currently lags behind at an average of 11 per cent under active development compared with existing supply. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & UAE leads the GCC with 39,070 & 32,272 rooms respectively under construction.

According to another report by global property consultancy Knight Frank, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set its sights on developing its hospitality market for both domestic and international tourism. The report revealed that the kingdom aims to complete 310,000 hotel rooms by 2030. Meanwhile, the UAE’s hospitality market is also poised for significant growth. Knight Frank predicts that the market will expand by 25 per cent by 2030. These developments indicate that both are heavily investing in their tourism industries in a bid to become major players in the global tourism market.

“This region is undoubtedly a global hotspot for industry investment right now,” expressed Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, adding that related opportunities and challenges will be placed under the microscope during the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023.

In addition to this, the event scheduled at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 1 to 4, will feature sessions highlighting industry-critical issues such as travel tech investment, the contemporary geopolitical landscape, urban regeneration, future markets, space tourism and more.

  • Published On Apr 20, 2023 at 12:12 PM IST

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