GCC countries have more than 170,000 hotel rooms in development

GCC countries have more than 170,000 hotel rooms in development

Saudi and the UAE lead with 39,070 and 32,272 in the pipeline respectively

According to a new report from Smith Travel Research (STR) commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the GCC region now has more than 170,000 hotel rooms under development.

The number of rooms is equivalent to 40% of the GCC’s existing hotel inventory, a figure almost four times greater than the rest of the world, which currently anticipates an average increase of 11% of its existing inventory.

The STR report estimates that Saudi Arabia's 135,560 existing rooms will be increased with a pipeline of 82,639 rooms, bringing the total room inventory in 2030 to more than 218,000 rooms.

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Similarly for the UAE, STR currently tracks more than 202,000 existing rooms with an active pipeline of 48,910 rooms by 2030, a combined total of almost 251,000 rooms.

Existing room supply increased by more than 70,000 rooms between 2010 and 2019, representing a 68% increase in supply. While over-supply can have a negative impact one some markets, the UAE’s historic occupancy performance provides an optimistic blueprint of what the region can expect as new rooms become available.


Commenting on the findings, ATM exhibition director Danielle Curtis said: “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.  

“While the hospitality sector’s growth does highlight the region’s increasing popularity on the global stage, it is also indicative of regional government strategy to diversify GDP growth away from hydrocarbons into tourism, which will help to drive demand still further over the coming years."

ATM will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 1 to 4 May 2023 with the theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’.

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