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The GCC region’s hospitality sector is set to see an exponential increase in its rooms inventory, with over 170,000 hotel rooms in active development. This number represents 40 percent of the region’s existing number of rooms.
New research by STR and commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) reveals that, as of September 2022, the region has four times as many hotel rooms planned or in development compared to the global average for the sector.
On the global stage, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar hosted, or plan to host, major events/initiatives that could be attributed to this growth in the hospitality industry. Expo 2020 Dubai, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Saudi’s Vision2030, upcoming bids for the Asia Cup and other sporting events, music festivals featuring international artists are some examples.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said in a media statement: “Between EXPO 2020, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision2030 strategy, the GCC’s hospitality sector development pipeline remains robust in contrast to global hotel development, which is slowing, due to weak economic growth forecasts.
Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah leading
The STR report revealed that the UAE has over 202,000 existing rooms, and expects to add 8,910 that are in the pipeline as of September. This would mean that by 2030, at least 251,000 rooms will be available for hotel guests in the UAE.
Dubai leads the count, the report stated, with Ras Al Khaimah in second place with over 5,000 rooms coming up there. Ras Al Khaimah’s active pipeline numbers match the combined upcoming inventory of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah – a testament to the renewed focus on tourism for the emirate.
The UAE has always shown positive numbers in the sector, having had a whopping 68 percent increase in supply from 2010-2019.
The 30th edition of the travel and tourism event for international inbound and outbound tourism professionals is set to take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on May 1 to 4, 2023, under the official theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’.
ATM 2023 aims to attract over 26,000 visitors and 34,000 participants for the upcoming edition. It is being specifically developed to address sustainability issues across the travel and tourism industry, with commentary from leadership figures representing a variety of sectors.
The strategic partners for ATM 2023 include Dubai Tourism as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the official Hotel Partner and Al Rais Travel as the official DMC Partner.
ATM 2022 attracted over 24,000 visitors and hosted over 31,000 participants, including 1,600 exhibitors and attendees from 151 countries.