High-end hotels dominate tourism sector in the Middle East and Africa

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JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Featured-JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, the tallest hotel tower in the world. According to the latest STR Global report, the UAE had the biggest number of hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and Africa region. Photo-Mahsoom Thottathil/Arabian Gazette

The demand for high-end accommodation continued to witness rapid growth in the Middle East and Africa region with 68 new hotels opening their doors to welcome guests.

Latest data by STR Global suggests that 15,735 rooms were added in the region’s tourism sector in 2012. An increase of 3,600 rooms in 10 properties was seen in the Upper Upscale segment of the hotel industry. Further a total of 11 hotels with 3,508 rooms opened in the Luxury segment of hospitality industry.

In the upscale segment, 16 new hotels with 3,467 rooms were built in the region. The reported figures show that, compare to 2011, the largest increase of new rooms was seen in the Midscale segment. Hotels in this segment grew by 79.5 percent with 10 hotels and 1,431 rooms.

In contrast, a nominal growth was recorded in the economy hotels. Only two properties with 242 rooms were developed in this segment of the industry. This was the smallest increase in number of new rooms in 2012.

The future of hotel development in Middle East and Africa remains bright, with a total of 478 hotels totaling 119,233 rooms in the pipeline. According to the STR Global report, the emirate had the biggest number of hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and Africa region. The UAE is expected to be continue to lead new project development as 100 new hotels will be built as part of the multi-billion dollar Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. The UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia, with 16,496 rooms under construction.

The Middle East and Africa region has shown impressive performance in the hospitality and tourism sector as a growing number of rich tourists are heading to these countries to enjoy their vacations. The industry has been supported by the announcement of ambitious projects by both private and public sector.

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