New research shows Saudi Arabia and the UAE to plough billions into expanding tourism offerings over the next few years
More than $23 billion worth of hotel construction contracts are scheduled to be awarded in the Middle East and North Africa by 2023, according to new research.
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2020 has released its third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast, which reveals that the hotel development sector will be most active in Oman, Egypt, the 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. This includes a minimum of 21,500 rooms, across 36 individual hotel, resorts and masterplanned tourist destinations."
The Saudi push comes as it 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 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 April 14-16.
AHIC 2020 features a line-up of more than 100 high profile speakers and promises to bring together more than 800 hotel investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level hotel executives for three days of content, networking and events.