Region overview: Nearly 500 new hotels mooted across the GCC [Infographic]

by | 26 May 2021 | Hotel Projects, Projects

One&Only One Za’abeel (Photo: One&Only)

A glance at the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database shows that 473 hotels are currently in the works across the GCC, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia powering ahead.

Over the next few years, 473 hotels with 158,161 rooms will launch in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), our research indicates. We take a closer look at which nations are planning the most projects.

GCC hotel openings by year

In 2021, 155 properties with 44,062 rooms will open their doors across the region, and 2022 looks similarly busy with 149 projects and 52,974 rooms in the pipeline.

However, 2023 will be a bit quieter with 57 hotels and 21,697 rooms on the cards. Another 112 openings and 39,428 keys are scheduled in for 2024 and beyond.

Interestingly, the split between four- and five-star properties is almost 50/50. Of the 473 planned hotels, 245 will be in the upscale segment, while 238 will be in the luxury category.

Top national growth markets in the GCC

The UAE tops our list of national growth markets with 203 projects and 60,419 rooms due to be delivered in the coming years.

Saudi Arabia takes second place in terms of new properties on its development slate – 161 hotels are due to open here soon. But reflecting the massive size of some of its projects, the Kingdom’s total room count comes to 72,243, comfortably beating the UAE by nearly 12,000 keys.

Qatar is also growing its hotel offering at pace, with 46 new properties and 13,117 rooms on their way. Oman is not far behind with 32 ongoing projects and 6,293 keys, while 18 launches with 3,835 rooms are planned in Bahrain, and 13 openings with 2,254 keys have been earmarked for Kuwait.

Key urban hotel markets in the GCC

Dubai comes out ahead in terms of the GCC’s urban hotel markets, with 145 new properties and 44,763 keys currently being tracked. This means that over 70% of the UAE’s active hotel projects are happening in Dubai alone.

Saudi Arabia has three cities on the list, incidentally – the capital Riyadh will get 41 new hotels with 9,595 keys, Jeddah follows close behind with 38 properties and 9,408 rooms, and the holy city of Makkah can look forward to the completion of 28 projects and a whopping 32,668 keys.

The region’s most active hotel brands

Millennium Hotels will launch 13 properties with 4,444 rooms in the GCC, meaning it is the region’s most active hotel brand overall.

Admittedly, DoubleTree by Hilton follows close behind with 12 new hotels and 2,557 keys. And Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts is also putting in a strong showing, as it has 11 openings and 5,989 rooms on its books.

Noteworthy hotel openings in the Gulf region

In early 2023, Kingdom Tower – Four Seasons Hotel will open in Jeddah. This 200-room luxury scheme will boast an impressive array of amenities, ranging from executive meeting rooms and recreational facilities to multiple restaurants.

Over in Makkah, Kempinski Hotel Makkah will also open in early 2023, and offer 383 sophisticated rooms and suites. Several restaurants and lounges will provide a variety of dining choices, while a stylish ballroom and spacious conference rooms will ensure there’s space to host large business and social gatherings.

Lastly, One&Only One Za’abeel will launch in Dubai in Q2 2022. Set in the downtown Za’abeel district, a two-tower high-rise mixed-use development will incorporate a One&Only-branded hotel, luxury residences, serviced apartments, offices and retail space. A panoramic sky concourse, The Linx, will connect the towers.

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

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