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Tue 19 Jan 2010 02:32 PM

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$7bn GCC hotel projects under construction - study

Middle East likely to see 98 new hotels with nearly 30,000 rooms opening in 2010.

Hotel projects worth $7bn are currently under construction across the GCC, latest research published on Tuesday showed.According to figures from Dubai-based Proleads, most are in the UAE ($4.4bn) followed by Saudi Arabia ($1.2bn), Qatar ($620m), Bahrain ($490m), Oman ($300m) and Kuwait ($90m).

UK hotel real estate research company Lodging Econometrics also revealed that the Middle East is likely to see 98 new hotels with 29,226 rooms opening in 2010 and 115 hotels with 33,765 rooms in 2011.

“It has undoubtedly been a tough time for the hospitality industry on a worldwide basis in 2009 and the Middle East has not escaped totally unscathed,” said Maggie Moore, exhibition director of The Hotel Show which commissioned the research.

“But set against global trends, the region is still comfortably placed when compared with the rest of the world.”

She added: “While the number of hotel projects under construction in the Middle East has slowed down, as regional economies react to the challenges of the global economic conditions, the pace still remains considerably better than most.

“The [Proleads] results indicate that the continuing development of the regional hospitality industry is both robust and sustainable. How many other parts of the world can boast such figures?”

RevPar (Revenue per available room) rates have declined year-on-year in the Middle East to about $125, but it compares favourably with figures of $81 and $55 in Europe and the Americas respectively, she added.

The Hotel Show takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 18-20.

In 2009, the show featured 758 exhibitors from 41 countries and attracted 8,474 key industry decision makers from 77 countries.

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