TOPHOTELNEWS Special: Middle East hotel projects overview [Construction Report]

by | 13 Jan 2020 | Projects

Architecture in Dubai (Photo: Unsplash)

There are 603 projects to come on across the Middle East, bringing a total of 182,600 new rooms to the region, according to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database.

It’s all systems go across the Middle East as projects around the region come on and get underway.

We take a deep dive into the Middle East’s pipeline and highlight some of the largest and most interesting projects we can expect to see in the region soon.

Middle East closes decade with booming hospitality market

As one decade ends and another begins, investors, developers and operators in the Middle East can rest assured that they’ll be on solid ground for the next few years, judging by the health of the region’s pipeline. There are 603 projects to come on across the Middle East, bringing a total of 182,600 new rooms to the region. All of the projects are either 4 or 5-star hotels, with the majority currently under construction (368), and another sizeable amount in the planning phase (119). This means that all of the projects that are due to open in 2020 (240) look like they’re on track to meet their deadline. 2021 will see the opening of 113 hotels, while a further 68 will welcome guests in 2022 and 158 from 2023 onwards.

A lot of the development is concentrated in the UAE, which will welcome 199 projects (59,590 rooms) in the near future, with Saudi Arabia also seeing significant development with 160 projects (70,964 rooms), and Qatar coming up behind, but with far fewer hotels in the works at 48 projects (14,290 rooms).

Busiest cities and biggest brands

It is perhaps unsurprising that the region’s bustling capitals will see the most movement in terms of the region’s hospitality market over the coming years. Dubai, Riyadh and Doha are the Top 3 cities in the area, with a projected 141, 45 and 39 projects respectively welcoming guests in the coming years. Many of the brands that will be arriving or expanding their presence in the Middle East are firm favourites of the international hospitality scene, and the Top 5 brands are heavy on the Hilton and peppered with Radisson and the Holiday Inn. Doubletree by Hilton boasts 22 hotels in the pipeline, Hilton Hotels and Resorts can claim to have 18 coming on, Hilton Garden Inn comes in a number three with 16, and Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts and Radisson Blu come in at four and five respectively with 13 properties each.

Largest project – Abraj Kudai Tower

This vast tower in the pilgrimage site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia will boast an incredible 9,760 rooms upon its completion in the third quarter of 2021. The room count will be spread over a built area of approximately 1.4 million m2, on a footprint of around 60,000m2. The scale of this project is possibly because of its location on the outskirts of the desert city, and it will also house residences, a parking lot, a shopping mall, restaurants and food courts, commercial venues and office space.

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Notable projects

The RIU Resort Deira Island is an 800-key property currently under construction at a beachfront location in Dubai. A 4-star new build hotel, it will form part of a new enclave of four purpose built islands, which will herald in a new era of tourism and entertainment for the Deira neighbourhood. As well as this impressive new hotel, the islands will also offer a 30,000 seater amphitheatre, shopping and retail outlets, design towers and a marina.

The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences is to be located on Dubai’s famous The Palm waterfront, and will be a 795-key 5-star luxury new build. Set to open at the end of 2020, the Royal Atlantis will be a sight to behold – spread over 47 floors that rise in terraces into the sky and overlook the ocean beyond. The volume is scattered with open gardens and infinity pools, and will be a must visit for anyone in the area.

Finally, the Hilton Dubai World Central, Dubai South will be an upscale hotel boasting 555 rooms in a luxury 5-star new build construction. The hotel will form part of a new development which is facilitating Dubai’s international airport, and will provide guests accommodation over seven floors, as well as access to an F&B village, a wellness centre and spa and conference facilities.