Hotel construction contracts worth over $23bn are set to be given out in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2023, according to the third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast.

MEED Projects, the regional project-tracking service, conducted research in the last quarter of last year that indicated that most activity in the hotel development sector will take place in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

MEED Projects content and analysis director Ed James says that the last seven years have seen over 700 new hotels worth more than $53bn built in the Middle East, and the region is now regarded as a hotspot for high tourism growth.

Catalysts for development in the region have included the sector opening up in addition to enhanced infrastructure and growing economies.

The leading future market for the hotel pipeline is expected to be Saudi Arabia, with just under $9bn in projects likely to be awarded over the course of the next four years, according to James.

This would include at least 21,500 rooms spread over 38 hotels, master-planned tourist destinations and resorts.

Opening up its Red Sea coastline and cultural heritage has, along with tourism, been a vital aspect of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, with various ‘giga-projects’ such as The Red Sea Project and the Qiddiya entertainment hub coming in the next few years.

In second place is the UAE with hotel construction contracts worth as much as $7.6bn coming in the next four years.

There are hotel developments worth more than $2bn in development in Oman, and $1.9bn in projects are likely to be awarded to Egypt within the next three years.

That the market is very buoyant has been demonstrated by the level of investment revealed to be coming in the next four years by the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast.

With new hotel resorts such as Oman’s St Regis Muscat and Jebel Sifah and Sharm el-Sheikh’s Ritz-Carlton and Dubai’s Bellagio Hotel and MGM Resort, the Middle East is now among the most diverse and vibrant tourist destinations in the world, James says.

There will be an in-depth discussion of the outlook for Middle Eastern hotel investment and the regional pipeline at AHIC’s 16th edition, which will be held from 14th to 16th April, again at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah.

AHIC founder and Bench Events chairman Jonathan Worsley says that the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast is very valuable and the research shows that there is much still to offer in the region in terms of the future expansion of and investment in hotels.

Worsley says that there is particular excitement in witnessing markets as rich and diverse in tourism landscapes as Egypt and Oman returning to the forefront of regional development.

Anyone who intends to travel to the UAE or anywhere else in the region should make sure that they have taken out travel insurance coverage before they do so.

Travel insurance gives financial protection in the event of unplanned travel circumstances such as falling ill in a foreign country or losing luggage.


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