The Middle East's hotel pipeline has overtaken Europe's. According to a new report from Tophotelprojects, the region has more hotel rooms on the way than South America and Africa combined
The Middle East is set to add 238,963 new hotel rooms to its current supply, the majority of which will open over the next five years. At the same time, Europe has 214,743 guestrooms set to open, even though the region has more new-build hotels in its pipeline.
The UAE, which has 222 active projects amounting to 126,576 rooms, and Saudi Arabia, which has 143 projects and 55,810 rooms, are the two most active countries for hospitality development in the Middle East.
The region’s strong placing is being attributed to substantial growth across its major countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, is pushing development as part of the governments’ Saudi Vision 2030, with a focus on improving its position as a destination for tourism. Approximately 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's 143-hotel development pipeline is expected to open this year. A major portion of these 84 hotels, which consist of 27,281 guestrooms, are in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Al Khobar. These cities all scored high ranks in the Middle East's top 10 most active cities for hospitality. Riyadh is in third, and Jeddah is in fourth, while Makkah is in sixth and Al Khobar is in 10th. Some hotel openings in the kingdom slated for 2018 are Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, Copthorne Hotel Makkah, Jabal Omar, Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah, Millennium Hotel Jeddah and the Hilton Garden Inn Al Khobar.