PORTSMOUTH, NH—In a recent report by analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE), the Middle East hotel construction pipeline stands at 640 projects/181,890 rooms, up 6% and 4%, respectively, year-over-year (YOY). This is an all-time high for projects in the region.
Projects presently under construction are at 345 projects/111,257 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 160 projects/39,373 rooms, and projects in the early planning stage are at 135 projects/31,260 rooms.
The Middle East opened 42 new hotels/10,793 rooms in the first half of 2019 with another 59 new hotels/12,418 rooms scheduled to open by year-end. In 2020, new hotel openings are forecast to climb to 124 new hotels/37,233 rooms and ascending further in 2021 to 139 new hotels with 38,270 rooms expected to open.
Countries with the greatest number of projects in the construction pipeline are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 219 projects/61,781 rooms and Saudi Arabia with 217 projects/73,647 rooms. Egypt follows, at an all-time high, with 63 projects/15,353 rooms, and then Qatar with 59 projects and a record-setting 15,002 rooms.
Dubai’s construction pipeline continues to tower over other Emirate pipelines in the UAE with 173 projects/50,832 rooms. Alone, Dubai accounts for 27% of the projects in the Middle East pipeline. Other notable yet distantly following Emirates are Abu Dhabi with 16 projects/3,938 rooms, Ras al Khaimah with 14 projects/4,294 rooms, and Ash-Shariqah with 14 projects/2,330 rooms.
Cities with the largest hotel construction pipelines are the provincial region in Saudi Arabia with 63 projects/12,752 rooms; Riyadh with 60 projects/11,547 rooms; Jeddah with 56 projects/11,566 rooms; and Doha, Qatar has 53 projects/12,881 rooms. Makkah follows with 38 projects/37,782 rooms. Four of the top five cities with the largest pipelines are located in Saudi Arabia and comprise 34% of the projects and 40% of the rooms in the total Middle East construction pipeline.
Accor has the largest pipeline with 106 projects/28,580 rooms. Next is Marriott International with 98 projects/22,401 rooms and then Hilton with 96 projects/26,638 rooms. Both have record-high project counts.
The leading pipeline brands for Accor are the Ibis brands with 19 projects/6,147 rooms and Novotel with 16 projects/5,060 rooms. Marriott’s prominent brands are Courtyard with 21 projects/4,459 rooms and Residence Inn with 16 projects/1,877 rooms, both of which are recording their highest pipeline counts by projects and rooms. Hilton’s top brands are DoubleTree, at an all-time high for projects and rooms, with 29 projects/7,691 rooms and full-service Hilton Hotels & Resorts with 24 projects/7,393 rooms.