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Thu 8 Nov 2012 10:09 AM

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MidEast set for rise in mall-based hotels – report

Hoteliers looking to tap into consumers' love of shopping and high disposable income

MidEast set for rise in mall-based hotels – report
(Image for illustrative purposes)

The Middle East is set for a rise in the number of hotels located within mall complexes, as hoteliers look to tap into consumers’ love of shopping and a high level of disposable income, according to a new report.

“Big spenders with cash to splash are driving the trend for Middle Eastern hotels to be built inside shopping malls,” according to the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2012, compiled by market intelligence firm Euromonitor.

“Wealthy consumers from the likes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have plenty of disposable income and love shopping, thus mega-malls in the Middle East are booming. Shopping malls and associated hotel developments are key elements in the recovery of travel and tourism in the Middle East, which saw a difficult year in 2011,” it added, while predicting that visitor numbers are expected to rise in 2012 and 2013 as the impact of the Arab Spring declines.

The report comes in the footsteps of new data from STR Global, which revealed that a total of 150 hotels are forecast to be built in the Middle East and Africa next year as the region looks to build up its growing tourism industry.

Year-to-date, 46 hotels opened in the region adding 10,510 rooms.

In the remainder of 2012, STR Global said 72 more hotels are expected to open with 18,072 rooms, with properties in the more upmarket sectors set to dominate, STR Global said.

During 2013, the region is expecting 150 hotels to open with 37,349 rooms, with the Upper Upscale segment set to add the most rooms with 9,870 rooms in 35 hotels.

A total of 493 hotels totalling 122,942 rooms are included in the September STR Global Construction Pipeline Report for the region.

Elsewhere, the Euromonitor report said upmarket brands from sectors such as motors and fashion are seeking to enter this Asian market, with Tonino Lamborghini, the son of the founder of the famous car manufacturer leading the way.

The Italian company is building upon the strong reputation of its brand name in Asia with plans to open 40 five-star hotels in the next few years, the report said.

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