The Middle East’s reputation for monstrously-sized hotels has been backed up with new industry statistics showing recent developments have on average 50 percent more rooms than those being built in Europe.
The 485 hotels built in the Middle East and Africa during July had a total 118,535 rooms, an average 244 rooms per hotel, according to consultancy firm STR Global.
Meanwhile, in Europe the pipeline consisted of 813 hotels with 133,797 rooms, an average of 165 rooms per hotel.
Many of the largest hotels are in Dubai.
In June, the head of the world’s largest hospitality group branded Dubai’s most grandiose hotels as “monstrous” and said he was not interested in building such properties.
“I think the lion’s share of the properties [in Dubai] are big, monstrous Atlantises, Jumeirahs and all that. They’re wonderful but not everybody around the world can afford that so we need a good balance,” Wyndham Group CEO Eric Danziger told Arabian Business.
Danziger said Wyndham Group, which has nearly 7,400 hotels with 15 brands across the world, was planning to rapidly boost its presence in the Gulf, particularly in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, but he would not be lured by opulence, instead choosing to fill a gap in the middle and lower ends of the market.
“I have no ego problem with having hotels in the market underneath the super luxury market; we’re okay with that.
“We never want to do a hotel that we can’t say is going to be a success just to add another hotel, it’s not our culture, so we’re working very hard with a lot of people with a lot of hotels.”
Across the region, Oman has the most hotel rooms in development, at 4577, according to STR Global.
It is followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan.