Middle East looks to tourism

Radisson Hotel Group subsidiary Radisson Hospitality has signed the Radisson Blu Hotel, Al Ahsa in Saudi Arabia.
Radisson Blu, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

More than $23bn-worth of hotel construction contracts were due to be awarded in the Middle East and North Africa between now and 2023, according to MEED Projects.

The company said that, in the final quarter of last year, development was most active in Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Ed James, director of content & analysis, MEED Projects, said: “On the back of the more than 700 new hotels worth in excess of $53bn having been built over the past seven years, the Middle East is rightly viewed as a high-growth region for tourism. Growing economies, enhanced infrastructure and the opening up of the sector have acted as catalysts for development.

“In terms of the hotel pipeline, Saudi Arabia is the leading future market with just under $9bn worth of projects planned to be awarded over the next four years. This includes a minimum of 21,500 rooms, across 36 individual hotel, resorts and masterplanned tourist destinations.

“The Kingdom has made tourism and the opening up of its cultural heritage and pristine Red Sea coastline key components of its 2030 Vision. Self-styled ‘gigaprojects’ like The Red Sea Project, Amaala, Neom and the Qiddiya entertainment hub are set to transform Saudi Arabia and the region over the next few years.”

The UAE was in second place, with $7.6bn worth of hotel construction contracts on the four-year horizon. Oman had hotel developments worth just over $2bn in the pipeline, while Egypt has some $1.9bn-worth of projects set to be awarded by 2023.