UAE, Saudi hotel pipeline puts Middle East ahead of Europe

New report reveals 238,963 new hotel rooms to be built in Middle East compared to 214,743 in Europe


The Middle East’s tourist boom shows no sign of slowing as new figures reveal the region has overtaken Europe in regards to the number of new hotel rooms in the pipeline.

According to a new report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS – prepared ahead of this year’s editions of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia and The Hotel Show Dubai – the Middle East is set to add 238,963 new hotel rooms to its current supply, the majority of which will open in the next five years.

There are 214,743 guest rooms set to open in Europe, putting the Middle East ahead despite Europe having more new hotel builds in the pipeline.

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Ray Tinston, portfolio director of The Hotel Show events, said: “This new report reveals the extent to which the room to project ratio for Middle Eastern hospitality projects is considerably higher than average.

“Hospitality here is synonymous with luxury, opulence and pushing boundaries in terms of scale, magnitude and grandeur. As five star developments and mega resorts continue to dominate its construction pipeline, it’s not surprising that this region has an extraordinary number of rooms in development, even higher than compared with regions with a larger amount of individual hotel projects.”

The report said the UAE (222 projects/126,576 rooms) and Saudi Arabia (143 projects/55,810 rooms) are the two most active countries for hospitality development in the Middle East.

It added that the Middle East has more hotel rooms on the way than South America and Africa combined.

“Dubai continues to lead the global hospitality industry in terms of innovation,” said Tinston. “The world’s tallest hotel has just opened here, and it is due to welcome the first hotel in the world with its own rainforest. Developers here continue to push boundaries – it’s a very exciting market.”

The region’s strong placing is being attributed to substantial growth across its major countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, is in the midst of widespread change in line with the governments’ Saudi Vision 2030 – with a focus on improving its position as a destination for tourism.

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