Data reveals promising future for GCC hospitality sector

Data reveals promising future for GCC hospitality sector

UAE market is forecasted to exceed US$7 billion by 2026

Recent data from from Deloitte and STR have demonstrated sustained growth for the GCC hospitality industry as tourism continues to be a key priority for regional governments.  

Global travel and tourism event Arabian Travel Market (ATM), will bring hospitality stakeholders together when it takes place next month, May 6-9 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.  

According to Deloitte, Dubai is leading the regional hospitality markets with a strong outlook for 2024. 

The city now offers more hotel rooms than major capitals such as London, New York City and Bangkok, and as of this month, Dubai has a hotel room capacity of over 150,000. 

While data from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) shows that the city welcomed 17.15 million overnight visitors during 2023, with the average length of stay also increasing. According to Deloitte, occupancy peaked at 88% in February.

Elsewhere in the region, STR figures show that Riyadh is leading the way in terms of hotel supply growth, offering an additional 28,465 rooms, a 134% increase. 

Meanwhile, Doha has doubled its hotel inventory over the past decade, with a current supply of 39,968 rooms. 

“As the hospitality landscape in the GCC region continues to evolve, the data paints a compelling picture of growth and opportunity. ATM 2024 will feature a wide range of hospitality brands from around the world, and we are pleased to report that there has been a 21% increase in exhibition space dedicated to hotel brands this year, demonstrating strong interest and demand,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME of Arabian Travel Market. 

Curtis added: “IHG Resorts is the official hotel partner for ATM 2024, and this year's edition is set to welcome back some of the most respected brands in the hospitality industry, including Four Seasons Hotels, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, and the Shangri-La Group. 

"It's worth noting that the number of hospitality brands showcased at ATM has increased by 12% with a good selection of well-known international and regional brands. 

"With so many world-class brands in attendance across all categories of luxury, upper-midscale and midscale, ATM 2024 promises an enriching experience for all attending.” 

Several new European hotel brands, including Ethno Belek in Turkey and Buff Medical Resort in Germany, will exhibit at ATM for the first time. 

European Voyages, which specialises in tours, transfers, and private jets, will also mark its debut appearance. 

There has been a surge in exhibitor participation from Italy and Turkey, reflecting a growing interest from these regions in reaching the lucrative Middle East tourism market. 

Attendees at ATM 2024 will learn the latest trends from hospitality industry leaders during a series of summits and panel discussions throughout the course of the week. 

These include the 'Frameworks for Tourism Investment' session, which will mark the beginning of the ATM Market Insights Summit. 

Presented by Guy Hutchinson, president, Middle East and Africa of Hilton; Basmah Al-Mayman, regional director Middle East of UNWTO; and Jan Gerrit Koechling, partner Dubai, UAE of Roland Berger, this session will take place on the event’s main stage, the Global Stage. 

Attendees can expect to gain insights on how to cater to new markets, maintain market share and identify new business opportunities. 

Elsewhere, the 'Trends Shaping the Future of Hospitality in the Middle East' session will officially open ATM’s new Future Stage, formerly the Travel Tech Stage. 

It will provide key updates on the hospitality industry, upcoming trends and current challenges facing the sector, the session will feature senior regional representatives from IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriot International, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC and Banyan Tree Dubai, along with hospitality experts from Mastercard and Silkhaus.  

“As the Middle East continues its impressive strides forward in the global tourism landscape, IHG Hotels & Resorts is honoured and proud to be a strategic partner to multiple governments, tourism investors, industry stakeholders, and our customers across the region," said Haitham Mattar, managing director, India, Middle East & Africa of IHG.

"As the official Hotel Partner of the Arabian Travel Market 2024, we look forward to engaging with industry leaders, peers and colleagues.

"ATM remains an unrivalled platform for dialogue, debate, networking, and knowledge-sharing as the regional industry’s legacy travel trade event."