Latest STR report reveals GCC has more than 170,000 hotel rooms in its active development pipeline
New research commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and conducted at the end of September 2022 by STR, revealed that the GCC region now has over 170,000 hotel rooms under active development (planning, final planning & under construction). This is equivalent to 40 percent of the GCC’s existing hotel room inventory, a figure almost four times greater than the rest of the world which currently lags behind at an average of 11 percent under active development compared with existing supply.
The STR report estimates 135,560 existing rooms in Saudi Arabia with an active pipeline of 82,639 rooms, with total room inventory projected for 2030, at over 218,000 rooms. Similarly for the UAE, STR currently tracks more than 202,000 existing rooms with an active pipeline of 48,910 rooms, a combined total of almost 251,000 rooms by 2030.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “Between EXPO 2020, the 2022 FIFA World Cup and Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision2030 strategy, the GCC’s hospitality sector development pipeline remains robust in contrast to global hotel development, which is slowing, due to weak economic growth forecasts. While the hospitality sector’s growth does highlight the region’s increasing popularity on the global stage, it is also indicative of regional government strategy, to diversify GDP growth away from hydrocarbons into tourism, that will help to drive demand still further, over the coming years.”
The UAE’s historic occupancy performance provides a blueprint of what the region can expect as new rooms enter the market. Rooms supply increased by more than 70,000 rooms between 2010 and 2019, a staggering 68 percent increase in supply or about 6 percent average annual growth. Ras Al Khaimah, is second only to Dubai, with 5076 rooms in its pipeline, almost the same amount as Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah combined.
ATM which is the leading Middle East travel and tourism event for international inbound and outbound tourism professionals, takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 1-4 May 2023 under the official theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’. Each year, ATM highlights specific aspects of travel that will be pivotal in determining the direction the industry will take moving forward. The show will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends will evolve and identify strategies for growth within specific key vertical sectors.
RX, the organiser of ATM, will celebrate its 30th annual event by unveiling a dedicated sustainability pledge, not only to make the ATM 2023 event more sustainable but to announce 30 long-term goals as ATM works towards net zero in line with the RX Global pledge.