$185bn GCC transport spend to boost hotel sector

CLUB TIFFANY ANDREW ALD PARIS

Despite the global downturn, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE is forging ahead with its investment in hotels and transportation infrastructure.

“The regional hotel development pipeline from design to completion is worth over $6 billion,” said Frederique Maurell, exhibition director, The Hotel Show 2011.

“However, it is the infrastructure supporting the growth of the hotel sector, transporting tourists and business visitors, not to mention the boost to hotel revenues during the construction and fit out stages, that will shape the hospitality landscape.

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According to a study by BMI, over $107 billion has been earmarked for investment in transport infrastructure projects over the next 10 years. That was before Qatar’s successful bid for the FIFA World Cup, which according to Global Arab Network could add another $78 billion to the regional transport budget.

Projects include a $13 billion new international airport, $20 billion for roads and highways, $5 billion for a new deep-water seaport and up to $40 billion for a 340km rail network, including a high-speed connection linking Qatar with other Gulf states.

“Naturally these are only industry analysts’ estimates, but it does give a vivid illustration of the huge amounts being spent over the next decade in the GCC countries which will undoubtedly boost the hospitality sector,” said Maurell.

Now in its 12th year, The Hotel Show, (May 17-19) at Dubai World Trade Centre will launch new technology products, such as tidal wave machines for water parks, loyalty cards that double as room keys and the next generation property management systems.

Sustainability is also high on the agenda and Italian company, Technogym, has designed a treadmill that uses 40% less energy than conventional ones.

The Hotel Show covers over 22,000m2 of exhibition floor space, showcasing the latest products, services and technologies from all aspects of the hospitality and leisure sector. This year it has 400 exhibitors representing 25 countries.

The official platinum sponsor is Al Aqili Furnishings. The Dubai Government – Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has also agreed with dmg::events, organisers of The Hotel Show, to become strategic partners for this year’s hospitality showcase.

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