Data from global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights company STR has revealed that the GCC is expecting an additional 58,000 keys to enter the market in 2019. Dubai, Makkah and Riyadh are facing the highest increases in supply.

STR said that in certain markets, this will either tip the balance to an oversupply situation, or in cases such as Dubai, further push the equation to a supply driven market. Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Christopher Hewett, director of tri Consulting, and Christopher Lund, Colliers International MENA head of hospitality stronger competition is a key challenge for hoteliers, with performance levels continuing to soften in 2019.

In contrast, Christopher Lund, Colliers International MENA head of hospitality, also speaking to exclusively to Hotelier, said there is a more positive outlook in the medium- to long-term. Lund cites government tourism initiatives such as Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia as a reason.

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This is indicative of the more than 10,000 new keys expected in Saudi Arabia presented exclusively Hotelier ‘pipeline figures for 2019 in the January issue of the magazine, which also reveals which MENA market to watch out for the coming year.

Meanwhile, Lund said that the more established tourism market of the UAE has witnessed an increase in more affordable accommodation options that are focused in the mid-market , according to Lund.