There are six cities in this new Middle East econometric forecast - Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat and Riyadh. All are important gateway or capital cities and/or business and tourism destinations. Some are emerging as magnets for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), Mega Events and leisure/ shopping travelers. Some, including Dubai and Doha are heading at breakneck speed into the future. Dubai will host the Expo in 2020 and Qatar the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Although outside the parameters of this forecast, planning is already heavily underway and will mean significant new supply preparations.
The six cities represent over 124,000 hotel rooms and have seen high levels of new supply added in recent years with more scheduled to open. In Qatar, 45,000 further hotel rooms are reported to be required to meet FIFA World Cup capacity requirements, with 21 hotels planned for construction by 2017. In Dubai, The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing estimate a need for between 140,000 to 160,000 new rooms by 2020, with a further 10,000 plus rooms being reported as needing refurbishment prior to the Expo2020.
This forecast snapshot (taken in April 2014) looks at the prospects for the six hotel destinations cities in 2014 and 2015 and at some key issues facing them.
Within the region, hotels need to be nimble and understand the issues and their implications for business. The mobile and digital revolution is taking hotels into a whole new world as they battle to stay relevant to consumers.