Why Invest in the Middle East
A SMART CHOICE FOR INVESTORS
The GCC has firmly established itself as one of the leading and most exciting tourist destinations in the world. Already valued at $178.8 billion a year, its hospitality, leisure and recreation industries are only set to grow, driven by rising visitor numbers, expanding populations and the hosting of major global event like Expo 2020.
"Demand continues to grow as new attractions come on stream and more choices for accommodation, dining and entertainment become available. One of the driving forces for development in Dubai is the tourism vision looking at attracting 20 million visitors by 2020. This, together with an expected 25 million visitors to the Expo 2020 site, means that Dubai needs to continue to develop the hospitality sector to accommodate the demand."
Charlie Taylor, Jumeirah’s Group Director of Brand Communications
The Hotel Show Dubai 2018 comes at a time of growth, innovation and change in the GCC hospitality market
Challenging trading conditions have been felt across all international hospitality markets over the last two years, but the GCC – and Dubai in particular – has continued to build. Robust growth in room numbers and sustained occupancy rates of around 77% have become the norm in Dubai, but this is now becoming supercharged as huge levels of investment enter the market in preparation for the World Expo in 2020 and the 25 million visitors that it’s expected to host.
The Emirate raced past the milestone of 100,000 rooms last year, has a further 20,451 rooms in 69 hotel projects under construction and is expected to achieve an overall room supply of 134,000 by the end of 2018 and up to 160,000 by 2020.
For the first time in decades, the fundamental structure of the GCC market is changing
The luxury end of the UAE market will always remain strong, but it’s now also being complemented by a growing range of mid-market properties, exemplified by the huge success of Emaar’s “Rove” brand of hotels. This emerging trend is based around a new type of younger, cosmopolitan audience coming to Dubai who are more focused on technology, convenience, speed of service and sharp, modern furnishings and restaurant offerings – all factors which are creating new opportunities for product suppliers.
Record hotel construction rates / international brand appeal
Dubai has the most hotel construction underway in the Middle East and Africa with more than 10,000 hotel rooms forecast to be added to its inventory each year in the lead up to 2020. Seeing the potential of the region as a whole, across the Middle East there are so many new brands launching for the first time. Dubai has welcomed London-import DUKES and its first Delano Hotel, known for its counterparts in Miami and Las Vegas, to the Palm Jumeirah this year.
World-leading leisure and entertainment destination
Dubai is now considered as an international city on the global stage with New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and is leading the development of the UAE leisure market together with Abu Dhabi. The next 5 years will see a transformation of the UAE’s leisure and entertainment offering. Unique concepts include the world’s first Bollywood theme park (Bollywood Parks™ Dubai), part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts development (now open), the world’s largest indoor theme park (IMG Worlds of Adventure, now open) and the Warner Bros. resort on Yas Island, currently under construction (forecast to open in 2018), while some of the best attractions and tourist destinations in the world are being re-imagined. Dream Island, the ‘new Ibiza’, the new Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi, which are architecturally outstanding, ‘Ain Dubai’, set to become the largest ferris wheel in the world, almost 100m bigger than the London Eye, and more.
A “Gateway to the Rest of the World"
Dubai is home to the world’s busiest airport for international passengers (Dubai International surpassed London Heathrow in 2014) and is undergoing major additional infrastructure projects. With its central global location, Dubai “is within 4 hours flight of 3 billion people which is unrivalled” (Source: PwC).
Travel to the Middle East as a whole is expected to see strong growth over the next 10 years, with the region’s strategic location and investment in airports and infrastructure establishing it as an important global hub. Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO at Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) told The Hotel Show: “Through projects announced to date, by 2020 the region will add airport capacity for 300 million extra passengers, build over 200 new hotels, add 100,000 additional rooms, grow visitor numbers to 150 million, and increase the size of its aircraft fleet by over 150% by 2025.”