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$23 billion worth of hotels to be built in MENA by 2023

Third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast identifies Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia as the markets to watch in 2020

The hotel development sector most active in Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia, the markets to watch in 2020 More than 700 new hotels worth in excess of $53 billion have been built over the past seven years The UAE lies in second place, with $7.6 billion worth of hotel construction contracts on the four-year horizon

The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2020 has released the third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast, which reveals that more than US$23 billion worth of hotel construction contracts are scheduled to be awarded in the Middle East and North Africa between now and 2023.

According to research conducted by regional project tracking service, MEED Projects, in Q4 2019, the hotel development sector will be most active in Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia, making these the markets to watch in 2020.

Ed James, Director of Content and Analysis at MEED Projects, said: “On the back of the more than 700 new hotels worth in excess of $53 billion having been built over the past seven years, the Middle East is rightly viewed as a high-growth region for tourism. Growing economies, enhanced infrastructure and the opening up of the sector have acted as catalysts for development.”

“In terms of the hotel pipeline, Saudi Arabia is the leading future market with just under $9 billion worth of projects planned to be awarded over the next four years,” continued James. “This includes a minimum of 21,500 rooms, across 36 individual hotel, resorts and masterplanned tourist destinations.

Read: A tale of three old and new hotels in Dubai, London and Makkah

He explained: “The Kingdom has made tourism and the opening up of its cultural heritage and pristine Red Sea coastline key components of its 2030 Vision. Self-styled ‘gigaprojects’ like The Red Sea Project, Amaala, Neom and the Qiddiya entertainment hub are set to transform Saudi Arabia and the region over the next few years.”

The UAE lies in second place, with $7.6 billion worth of hotel construction contracts on the four-year horizon. Oman has hotel developments worth just over $2 billion in the pipeline, while Egypt has some $1.9 billion worth of projects set to be awarded by 2023.

The levels of investment revealed by the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast over the next four years are testament to an incredibly buoyant market.

“New hotel resorts like Jebel Sifah and the St. Regis Muscat in Oman, the Ritz-Carlton in Sharm el-Sheikh and the MGM Resort and Bellagio Hotel in Dubai are set to continue to make the Middle East one of the most vibrant and diverse tourism destinations in the world,” added James.

Read: Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick now into 3D-printed hotels in Saudi!

The regional hotel pipeline and the future outlook for hotel investment in the Middle East will be discussed in depth at the 16th edition of AHIC, which returns to Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 14-16 April.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: “The ever-evolving hotel management models, brands and products coming to the region will be discussed at AHIC 2020 under the theme, ‘Transform Tomorrow’, which will explore the many different ways hotel owners and operators alike are adapting their businesses to compete in the future”.

Commenting on the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast, José Silva, CEO of Jumeirah Group, host sponsor of AHIC, said: “In KSA, our current strategic project is taking place in Makkah – Jumeirah Jabal Omar – our first hotel in the Kingdom, set to open in 2021. We are also very interested in the mega projects that Saudi Arabia is heavily investing in and that we believe presents an excellent business proposition for Jumeirah, such as NEOM Metropolis and the Red Sea.” 

“Other GCC projects in the pipeline include our continued expansion in Bahrain and our Muscat Bay property in Oman, which will be completed later this year.” added Silva.