Qatar’s hotel development retains World Cup momentum

Pictured: rendering of Rixos Doha Qetaifan.
With the fanfare of the 2022 FIFA men’s football World Cup now out of the way, where does this leave Qatari high end hotel development?

Research conducted last year by global property consultancy firm Knight Frank suggested that the momentum will continue, with the company predicting that Qatar could see its hospitality market grow by 89% to over 56,000 hotel keys by 2025.

Investment billions

International tourist visits are forecast to reach 7 million by 2030, 30% up from this year’s anticipated 5.4 million. Therefore the Middle Eastern nation will clearly need to maintain its hotel pipeline to meet demand.

According to the latest information from the THP database, over US$1.7 billion of investment has already been ploughed into high end accommodation.

Doha dominance

The data details that the premium pipeline contains at least 33 hotel projects comprising 9,611 keys.

Doha is the hub for this development activity, with 85% of these records situated in the capital city, representing 28 properties. Another four are just further north on the country’s eastern Persian Gulf coast, in Lusail, while the final site is across in the western city of Dukhan.

Even stars

The star rating distribution of these high end projects is fairly evenly balanced between luxury and upscale hotels, with 17 five star sites and 16 four stars.

The overwhelming majority are newbuildings, with 31 out of the 33 being greenfield constructions, as against just two refurbishments.

Peak period

Next year looks to be the current opening peak, with 12 projects scheduled for 2024 completion. However, at least 10 sites are due to finish by the conclusion of this year too.

Another 10 have yet to designate their end date, while another is slated for 2025.

It seems that Qatari builders are having a busy period as well, with 15 of these high end hotels under construction. 12 more are in a pre-opening phase. Further back in the project process, four developments are at a planning stage and another two are in pre-planning.

Battle of the big beasts

Marriott International tops our list of upcoming high end hotels in Qatar, with at least six projects, while another major group, Accor, is close behind with a minimum of four additions. Sharing third place on at least three each are Hilton Worldwide and Central Hospitality International.

Minor Hotels’ NH Collection brand is the only line with multiple Qatari entries in the THP database, with a pair headed to the country.

Notable projects

One of the soon to open sites for Accor is Rixos Doha Qetaifan, which will bring 345 luxury keys online in November as part of the Qetaifan Islands development, an exclusive new district also featuring a theme park and waterpark.

By the end of this year Marriott’s JW Marriott Al Dafna Area, West Bay will also arrive in the capital city, delivering 297 keys in a spectacular 53-storey skyscraper.

In Q4 next year, one of Hilton’s pipeline properties, Hilton Garden Inn West Walk Al Waab, should begin operation, bringing 250 four star rooms to a mixed-use development in the heart of Doha’s most popular neighbourhood.