Hotel development in GCC growing at six times global average

Hotel development in GCC growing at six times global average

Findings by Arabian Travel Market highlight extensive growth in Makkah, Doha, Riyadh, Medina, Muscat and Dubai

Hotel room inventory across the GCC region is expanding rapidly, led by increases of 76% in both Makkah and Doha, according to research commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and conducted at the end of 2021 by STR.

These cities were followed by Riyadh (66%), Medina (60%) and Muscat (59%), according to the survey by the hotel market intelligence and global benchmarking company.

In Dubai, room growth stands at 26% – a remarkable figure given its existing hotel stock and following years of continuous hotel development, and more than double the global average.

ATM exhibition director ME Danielle Curtis said: “With the global average sitting at 12%, we are witnessing multiple GCC destinations growing at six times those rates.

“These figures, coupled with the ongoing relaxation in travel restrictions, will undoubtedly encourage travel professionals throughout the Middle East and further afield. As such, we are expecting a substantial increase in the number of participants at our live event this year, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.” 


According to the report, there are almost 2.5 million hotel rooms currently under contract around the world, of which 3.2%, or 80,000 rooms, is in Saudi Arabia alone.

Expo Dubai 2020 has been the catalyst for accelerated hotel room growth in the UAE with almost 50,000 rooms still due to open across the Emirates. Following closely behind is Doha with final preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 now being put in place. Doha is on track to deliver 23,000 hotel rooms pre- and post-World Cup 2022, adding to the country’s burgeoning hotel property portfolio.

“While the actual numbers may not seem particularly significant in comparison to the global hotel room pipeline, the growth above existing supply is staggering and underlines government strategy to diversify their economies away from hydrocarbon receipts and their confidence in the growth of tourism throughout the region,” said Curtis.

This year’s ATM will take place on May 9-12. For more information, visit

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