Middle East opens just seven hotels in Q2 2020, reveals report

The region’s hotel pipeline is down seven percent in the quarter

The Middle East’s pipeline of hotels has shown signs of slowing down as COVID-19 forces workers to stay at home and funds dry up amid difficult economic situations. In Q2 2020, just seven hotels opened in the region.

According to Lodging Econometrics’ latest Construction Pipeline Trend Report for the Middle East, the region’s hotel construction pipeline stood at 591 projects/169,538 rooms in Q2 2020. This is a seven percent drop in terms of projects and a six percent drop in rooms YoY, as well as being the fourth consecutive quarter of deceleration since peaking in Q2 2019.

Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are down by 31 percent by projects and 34 percent by rooms YoY to end the second quarter at 109 projects/25,658 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage are at 119 projects/26,422 rooms. Altogether, only 1,469 hotel keys entered the region in the quarter.

Hospitality projects under construction, however, are at an all-time high of 363 projects/117,458 rooms.

Countries with the most projects in the construction pipeline are Saudi Arabia with 210 projects/69,610 rooms and the United Arab Emirates with 186 projects/55,797 rooms, followed by Egypt with 60 projects/14,641 rooms, then Oman with 36 projects/6,967 rooms. Dubai continues to lead the construction pipeline in the UAE with 144 projects/44,895 rooms, revealed the report.

With its strong push into leisure tourism and hospitality, Saudi Arabian cities top the list in terms of pipeline size. Riyadh has a record-high 62 projects/12,414 rooms planned, while Jeddah has 50 projects/10,705 rooms and Makkah has 31 projects/32,387 rooms.

Hospitality titans Hilton, Marriott International and Accor make up 45 percent of all projects slated for the Middle East, projected to bring in 268 hotels and 73,340 rooms between them.

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