Report: GCC may see growth in serviced apartments

Colliers International's "The MEA Serviced Apartment Markets & Guest Experience Index" has some new insights into the Middle East and Africa’s serviced apartment markets, and noted an opportunity for international operators to meet a growing demand for high-quality serviced apartments in the MEA region.

"The serviced apartment business will be fuelled in the majority by the [Gulf Cooperation Council] - this region will be the biggest source market for the sector," Colliers International head of hotels for the MENA region Filippo Sona told Hotelier Middle East. The serviced apartment business will see the GCC become its biggest source market, with more than 10 percent currently coming from relocation guests in the MENA region.

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"The most interesting trend is that for the past three years the markets that scored the highest in guest satisfaction have been Doha, followed by Abu Dhabi and Dubai," Sona said. He added that a boom in serviced apartments in these more mature markets has resulted in growth which now exceeds 35 percent of total regional serviced apartment supply.

The report indicates that Dubai has the largest serviced apartment supply in the region at approximately 29,000 rooms (232 properties), of which 36 percent of the total supply is managed by international brands. Outside of the UAE, in terms of number of serviced apartments, Riyadh follows with 129 properties (approximately 5,500 rooms), however, serviced apartments in the city average a lower 43 rooms per establishment, with only 2 percent of the stock managed by international brands.

Looking to the future Sona anticipates Saudi Arabia to become one of the key destinations attracting the most growth in the serviced apartment sector, with a mix of independent and international brands driving tourist numbers.