GCC sees $27bn worth of hotel projects lined up

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  • New hotel projects worth $3.5 billion have been awarded since the start of 2020

  • The investments are mainly in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE

The GCC has hotel investments worth $27 billion in the pipeline, local reports on Tuesday, July 13, quoted the Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference or AHIC as saying.

The fourth annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast has also claimed new hotel projects in the region worth $3.5 billion have already been awarded since the start of 2020.

These new investments are located mainly in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, said the forecast.

They include phases five and six at Jabal Omar in Makkah, the Jewel of the Creek development in Dubai, and Qetaifan Island North in Qatar.

The research into the GCC hotel projects market was conducted by Meed Projects, a division of Meed, co-organizer of AHIC, alongside Bench.

The conference’s 17th edition will return to Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, being held for three days from September 20.

The reports quoted Ed James, director of content and analysis at Meed Projects, as saying: “Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, the hotel industry is still optimistic about its medium-term outlook.”

He added: “Some $3.5 billion worth of hotel construction contracts have been awarded across the GCC over the past 18 months during the height of the pandemic, indicating that investors expect the market to return to normality in the next two to three years when the new projects are due to open.”

He also said about the $27 billion worth of hotel investments in the pipeline: “The majority of these are comprised of the ‘gigaproject’ tourism investments in Saudi Arabia led by the Red Sea Project, Neom, Amaala, Diriyah Gate and Al-Ula, to name but a few.”

He explained: “All told, these will add more than 40,000 rooms to the kingdom’s emerging hospitality sector, as it seeks to diversify its economy to become a leading global player in the luxury and high-end tourism market.”

The figures also include a mega-project planned for Oman, the Yenkit Hills development, which will feature two five-star hotels and other tourism and residential units.

Based on the current pipeline of hotel and serviced apartment project completions in the GCC, an estimated 75,900 rooms are forecast to be added across the region in the period 2021-24, said the local reports.

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