By Andy Sambidge
New research says 48 new hotels costing $7.3bn scheduled to come on line this year.
More than 14,000 hotel rooms will come on line in the GCC region in 2010, according to new research.
Dubai-based research company Proleads said that the region is likely to see 48 new hotels with 14,178 rooms open in 2010, at an estimated cost of $7.3 billion, despite the impact of the global economic crisis.
The figures come prior to The Hotel Show, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 18-20.
“While much of the recent attention has focused on the impact of the downturn on the hospitality sector, the UAE continues to be one of the world’s active areas for hotel openings,” said Maggie Moore, exhibition director.
“The UAE alone has over 5,700 rooms coming to market in 2010. Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are also seeing increased activity."
Proleads forecasts that there will be another 21 hotels with 7,000 hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia by 2013, 2,000 of which will open this year.
A total of 1,961 new hotel rooms are expected to be added to the Qatar hospitality market during this year, according to Proleads, with a total of 21 new hotels coming online by 2013.
Last year the number of available hotel rooms in the country increased by 25 percent compared to the previous year.
“Existing hotels throughout the wider Middle East and North African region have been showing modest signs of recovery,” said Moore.
"Once economies start to pick-up steam and hotel occupancy rates begin to increase, hoteliers will quite rightly be in a cautiously optimistic mood.”
It is the general public that should be cautiously optomistic. Occupancy and AVPAR rates in Dubai are currently dropping at up record rates, dumping another 5,700 rooms into the market in 2010 will only accelerate this trend. Ultimately it will be the consumers that benefit. Hotelliers will have to focus on raising thier game and dropping thier prices.