Further football finals maintain Doha hotel development

Pictured: rendering of Rixos Doha Qetaifan.
Qatari capital Doha is building on its football host status to preserve a positive pipeline for high end hotels.

Following the Middle Eastern nation’s accommodation of the FIFA World Cup 2022, when Doha’s Lusail stadium was the setting for the final, the metropolis is poised to do the same for the upcoming regional Asian competition.

Visitor prompt

The AFC Asian Cup 2023 will in fact take place between January and February 2024, with Doha being the venue for both the first and last matches.

This has ensured major hotel chains are continuing to look at the city as requiring further development to meet demand, viewing it as a permanent sporting event hub that will frequently attract international visitors.

Luxury liking

Already on the city’s upcoming high end hotel books are 25 projects encompassing nearly 7,000 keys, according to the THP database.

The five star sector is just ahead in the segment stakes, with 13 luxury builds as against 12 upscale sites. Newbuilds are the strong preference here, comprising 88% of this pipeline, that’s 22 properties, compared to just three refurbishments.

Immediate openings

Next year is the opening peak for upper segment hotel developments in Doha, with 15 sites/60% of the pipeline due in 2024. Two further sites are scheduled to arrive by the end of this year and another one in 2025. The remaining seven have yet to be designated a delivery date.

To meet this swift schedule, 12 properties are currently under construction, with another nine in pre-opening. Just three are in a planning phase and one in pre-planning.

Brand plans

Of the big international hotel chains, our information indicates that Marriott International is taking a leading position, with at least five premium projects underway in the city. Accor is just behind, on a minimum of four, while Central Hospitality International (ex Centara) is third on three.

Minor Hotels’ NH Collection is the only high end hotel line with more than one current development in Doha, with two in the offing.

Accor additions

One hotel hoping to open in time for the AFC Asian Cup is Accor’s Rixos Doha Qetaifan, which will bring 345 luxury keys online as part of the Qetaifan Islands development, an exclusive new district also featuring a theme park and waterpark.

Two further group sites are both part of a double development in the city’s West Bay district. The 420-room Sofitel Doha West Bay and the 396-room Novotel Doha West Bay will rise as twin towers with completion due in Q3 2024.