Dubai, Riyadh and Doha lead Middle East, Africa pipeline for 2017

The Dubai skyline

The Middle East and Africa region is slated to get 316 new-build hotels and 84,377 rooms next year, according to TopHotelProjects.

According to the report, the UAE will get 20 percent of this development, with a total of 59 hotel projects expected to open in 2017. Dubai, which has invested heavily in improving infrastructure and launched a financial incentive to develop more mid-range hotels ahead of the upcoming 2020 Expo, has 138 hotel projects currently in the pipeline.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, accounts for 51 projects, Turkey has 28, Qatar has 18 and Morocco has 17 hotels underway.

TopHotelProjects international sales manager Caroline List said that the biggest cities for development in the Middle East are Dubai, Riyadh and Doha.

List noted some upcoming properties in the region, including the ME Dubai Hotel designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid; The Address Emaar Square in Instanbul; and the Melia Beach Hotel Saidia, Morocco. 

A notable upcoming hotel has received some attention for another reason: Makkah’s $3.5-billion hotel project, Abraj Kudai, is expected to become the world’s biggest hotel by room count when it makes its scheduled debut next year. That debut, however, may be delayed thanks to a range of economic factors, including the declining price of oil and governmental regulations. An expert at Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration suggested last month that the hotel may not open until 2018.

Whenever it does open, however, it will be one for the record books: