Regional industry experts share their thoughts on the growth prospects of the hotel market as well as the trends currently shaping hospitality interiors across the region.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to lead in hotel construction across the UAE with a combined 155 hotel projects and 47,619 rooms in the pipeline. Other emirates with hotel construction underway include Sharjah with six projects and Ras Al-Khaimah with five.
A new report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS prepared for the upcoming Hotel Show Dubai reveals that the majority of the new hotels in the UAE are expected to open in the next two years.
Paramount Hotel Dubai, Hard Rock Hotel Abu Dhabi, Citymax Hotel Ras Al Khaimah and Marriott Dubai Jumeirah are among new properties opening.
Simona Greco, director of Milan’s International Hospitality Exhibition, is assured as happened in Milan, the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai will additionally boost the quality of the hospitality on offer.
She says: “As indicated by Bocconi University of Milan, the overall economic impact of Milan’s Expo 2015 has been estimated as $35bn, compared to a direct governmental investment of $3.6bn, which triggered in turn private investment of some $22bn. However, financial figures are only a part of the story. What we experienced in Milan was a dramatic growth in such intangible assets as the city’s reputation, the touristic attractiveness, the quantity and quality of the hospitality and I do expect the same to happen in the Middle East.”
Martin Fryzelka, managing director of Preciosa Middle East, sees great development not only in the UAE but also in Qatar and Bahrain. The Czech lighting manufacturer has recently illuminated the Golden Bar and Al Mahara restaurant in Burj Al Arab in Dubai and is set to open a new atelier in Dubai Design District.
“In Saudi Arabia, there have been some challenges in the past, but they are always ready to overcome them. In short, KSA is a strong market that will soon rise again,” he says.
With Saudi Arabia putting a greater focus on diversification strategies, Charles Constantin, managing director of GEZE Middle East, which provides doors and windows solutions, is confident that that future projects in Saudi will positively influence a growth in the hospitality segment.
He says: “While we can anticipate high growth in business tourism within the Kingdom, tourism motivated by religious travel will continue to remain the front-runner of growth with over 50,000 hotel rooms being constructed to serve religious travel. The UAE comes in a close second with a robust investment injection that is seeing approximately 22,000 rooms and 90 hotels under planning and construction, leading up to 2020. Coming in third is Qatar with almost 6,000 rooms and 21 hotels planned to be completed by 2017.”
THE RISE OF THE MID-RANGE MARKET
Constantin sees an increase of tourists and business travellers, seeking budget-friendly travel over the full five-star luxury experience.
He continues: “Security and international quality of accommodation and service standards are key drivers determining where one would stay. These key factors reflect GEZE’s product offering and standards. We offer turnkey solutions that address these factors based on the individual requirements of a particular branded hotel.”