Oyo outlines UAE growth plans

Oyo China
Oyo has 1,700 rooms in more than 80 hotels and homes across the emirates. Photo credit: Oyo Hotels

Even as it's earmarking $300 million for U.S. development, India's Oyo Hotels & Homes has "an aggressive expansion plan" for the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

According to local news site Arabian Business, the company plans to take its management portfolio to 12,000 rooms in 150 hotels across the UAE by 2020.

Since the company debuted in the UAE last September, it has grown to 1,700 rooms in more than 80 hotels and homes across the emirates. Manu Midha, regional head, Middle East, Oyo Hotels & Homes, told the site the company is seeing "a sustained increase in bookings" from India and China, and is working with local asset owners to increase the supply. Bookings from India and China make up nearly 25 percent of the company's total UAE bookings and are on the rise for the upcoming summer months.

“We predict 75-percent-plus occupancy rate across all Oyo hotels and homes during the upcoming summer months,” Midha told Arabian Business.

At only six years old, Oyo reportedly is the sixth largest hotel chain in the world with more than 458,000 guestrooms in its portfolio. Just a week ago, the Indian company was in talks to raise nearly $1 billion in fresh capital from both new investors and existing backers like Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank. This could bring the startup's valuation to between $10 billion and $12 billion.

UAE hotel supply is poised to increase by 13.3 percent in Dubai, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.2 percent in occupied room nights reaching 35.5 million annually in 2019, according to STR. The Emirate has been rushing to have 132,000 guestrooms open and operating by the end of 2019 and 164,000 rooms by the time the Expo 2020 gets underway.