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$7bn in GCC hotel projects under construction

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, January 19 - 2010 @ 14:43

“It has undoubtedly been a tough time for the hospitality industry on a worldwide basis in 2009 and the Middle East has not escaped totally unscathed. But set against global trends, the region is still comfortably placed when compared with the rest of the world,”

said Maggie Moore, Exhibition Director of The Hotel Show.

The Hotel Show is the Middle East’s leading dedicated trade event for the hospitality and leisure sector and next takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 18-20 May 2010.

“While the number of hotel projects under construction in the Middle East has slowed down, as regional economies react to the challenges of the global economic conditions, the pace still remains considerably better than most,” Moore added.

“We asked research company Proleads to examine active and under-construction hotel projects scheduled for completion between now and 2013 across the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries. The results indicate that the continuing development of the regional hospitality industry is both robust and sustainable.”

The Proleads figures show hotel projects under construction across the GCC valued at more than $7bn. Most are in the United Arab Emirates ($4.4bn) followed by Saudi Arabia ($1.2bn), Qatar ($620m), Bahrain ($490m), Oman ($300m) and Kuwait ($90m).

Supporting the Proleads outlook, UK hotel real estate research company Lodging Econometrics has revealed that according to their research, the Middle East can expect 98 new hotels with 29,226 rooms to open in 2010 and 115 hotels with 33,765 rooms in 2011.

“How many other parts of the world can boast such figures?” asked Moore.

“Indeed although RevPar (Revenue per available room) rates have declined year-on-year in the Middle East to approximately $125, it compares favourably with RevPar figures of $81 and $55 in Europe and the Americas respectively, over the same period,” she added.

“With concerns about hotel oversupply, the re-examining of plans during the slowdown has been a healthy exercise,” she added. “An important factor going forward will be what happens in the global and regional economies to encourage people to travel and impact hotel occupancies.”

Now in its eleventh year, The Hotel Show is the Middle East’s most important event in the hospitality calendar hosting the latest products, services and technologies for the hotel, catering and leisure industries. In 2009, the show featured 758 exhibitors from 41 countries and attracted 8,474 key industry decision makers from 77 countries.

The Hotel Show is divided into four zones: Interiors & Design; Operating Equipment & Supplies; Security & Technology; and The Resort Experience, covering all things outdoor including furniture, accessories and design and includes Hotel Spa, an important sector with more than 60% of all spa activity in the Middle East taking place in hotels. Alongside the show, are high level seminar programmes – The Seven Star Conference, now in its fifth year, and the Middle East Spa Summit.

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Tuesday, January 19- 2010 @ 14:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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