Rapid expansion in the Middle East's hotel construction - Insights
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Rapid expansion in the Middle East’s hotel construction

The total pipeline stands at 603 projects / 175,288 rooms, an all-time high. These numbers show a lofty 119% increase in projects and 125% increase in rooms since the region’s low in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the total pipeline bottomed at 275 projects / 77,772 rooms.

Dubai cityscape with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, UAE

Projects presently under construction are at 355 projects / 113,635 rooms and are at an all-time high. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 127 projects / 33,158 rooms, and projects in early planning are at 121 projects / 28,495 rooms, both at their highest levels since 2007.

In the first half of 2018, the Middle East had 43 new hotels open while another 51 hotels are forecasted to open in the second half, bringing the total number of expected new hotel openings to 94 by year-end. Analysts at LE forecast explosive growth for new hotel openings in the coming years with 119 expected to open in 2019 and a whopping 156 in 2020.

Countries with the largest number of projects in the construction pipeline are the United Arab Emirates with 217 projects / 61,375 rooms and Saudi Arabia, with 208 projects / 74,962 rooms. Following distantly are Qatar with 58 projects/13,733 rooms and Egypt with 42 projects/9,923 rooms. The most swiftly growing emirate construction pipeline is in Dubai with 163 projects / 47,783 rooms. The other notable emirate is Abu Dhabi with 21 projects / 5,647 rooms.

Regions and cities having the largest hotel construction pipelines are located within Saudi Arabia, where the Provincial Region has 59 projects/11,467 rooms, and Riyadh has 57 projects / 10,735 rooms. Jeddah is recording their highest counts since 2007 with 56 projects / 11,027 rooms while Makkah has 36 projects / 41,733 rooms, also a record high.

Companies with the largest construction pipelines in the Middle East are Marriott International with 96 projects / 22,066 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 91 projects / 25,341 rooms, and AccorHotels with 81 projects / 23,512 rooms. Marriott International is showing an all-time high project count while Hilton Worldwide is on their third quarter in a row of overall record highs for both projects and guest room counts.

The leading pipeline brands for these companies are Marriott’s Courtyard with 21 projects/4,476 rooms, and Residence Inn with 16 projects / 1,877 rooms; Hilton’s full-service Hilton Hotel & Resort with 26 projects / 9,736 rooms, and DoubleTree by Hilton with 26 projects/6,113 rooms; and AccorHotels’ Novotel with 14 projects / 5,165 rooms, and Adagio City Aparthotel with 14 projects / 2,711 rooms. All of these leading pipeline brands, with the exception of Hilton’s full-service Hotel and Resort, are at their record highs.

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