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Fri 24 Feb 2012 10:10 AM

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Qatar eyes near-70% rise in hotel rooms supply

Over 7,300 rooms in construction pipeline as country prepares for 2022 World Cup - STR Global

Qatar eyes near-70% rise in hotel rooms supply
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar's tourism sector is likely to see a near-70 percent growth in hotels, the largest in the Middle East and Africa, latest STR Global data has showed.

The Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline for January comprised a total of 495 hotels totalling 131,981 rooms, according to STR Global's construction pipeline report.

Among the countries in the region, Qatar reported the largest expected growth (up 69.9 percent) if all 7,340 rooms in the country’s total active pipeline open.

The Gulf state is looking to dramatically expand its tourism offering as it starts to look ahead to hosting the World Cup in 2022.

More than 6,000 hotel rooms came online in Qatar in the third quarter of last year, as 25 properties and 10 hotel apartments entered the market, the country’s ministry of tourism said earlier this month.

The gas rich Gulf state is building 77 new hotels and 42 hotel apartments ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, in a bid to accommodate a flurry of tourists and football fans.

A number of new hotel brands are expected to announce their expansion in the country this year, either as stand-alone projects or part of mixed use developments.

Five other countries are expected to grow more than 40 percent if all rooms in the active pipeline open.

Oman, which is aiming to attract 12 million visitors a year by the end of the decade, will see a 68.8 percent increase with 4,504 rooms slated to open.

The number of hotels in Saudi Arabia, which is embarking on major growth to meet the demands of pilgrims travelling to the kingdom each year, is expected to increase by 54 percent with 25,398 rooms in the construction pipeline.

The STR Global data also showed that the UAE is expected to open another 44,056 rooms, a 48 percent growth while the number of hotel rooms under construction in Kuwait total 2,504 rooms, a rise of 40.6 percent on current levels.

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