Expo 2020. Expo 2020.

Citymax Hotels COO Russel Sharpe, during the recent Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS 2018), said that post Expo 2020, hoteliers will have opportunities for development but will have to be “creative” to drive the demand.

The remark came up during a debate at GIOHIS 2018 on whether Dubai was in danger of being overbuilt but offering limited return on investment to hoteliers post Expo 2020. Sharpe believes Expo 2020 will be an opportunity to attract a large number of visitors to the emirate. “Post event, a high-level strategic plan has to be developed to preserve the legacy and capitalize on facilities of the District 2020 site, for instance,” he added.

At GIOHIS summit, it was revealed that Dubai currently has the largest hotel room pipeline of any city in the world with more than 50% of planned rooms in the upscale sector.

Commenting on this, Sharpe believes there will be upcoming opportunities for midscale hotels and referred to Citymax which he stated has been a success in the competitive three-star market since its launch in 2010. It entered with two Dubai properties at a time when there was a gap in the market for mid-range hotels, a statement said.

Sharpe remarked that Dubai’s hospitality sector was continually growing, offering options in both luxury hospitality products as well as affordable options.

“The hospitality industry as a whole has a key role to play in the provision of creative ideas and solutions that will be essential post-Expo 2020,” Sharpe further added.

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