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LUXURY HOSPITALITY MARKET STILL STRONG ACROSS GCC SAY UAE ARCHITECTS

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In a recent report released by STR Hotel Market Data & Benchmarking, it was recorded that the Middle East saw an increase in the construction of hotel rooms over the past year.

The region witnessed a 9.3 percent year-over-year increase in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline, said the report, with the Middle East seeing an additional 30,203 rooms in the final planning stage.

In the Middle East, the UAE leads with 56,701 rooms, representing 33.6 percent of the country’s existing supply, while Saudi Arabia is second with 42,571 rooms (42.9 percent) and Oman follows in third with 4,129 rooms under construction.

Additionally, data released by the Arabian Travel Market showed that the UAE will continue to lead the GCC’s luxury hospitality segment through to 2022, with 73 percent of existing luxury hotel stock and 61 percent of the region’s pipeline located within the country, despite the rising visitation of a more cash-constrained guest profile.

In light of a healthy hospitality market, Middle East Architect spoke to UAE-based architects, including Riccardo Robustini, founder and Dubai director of UNICA; Matthew Engele, principal and regional design leader at Woods Bagot; and Joe Tabet, principal of JT+Partners, about the sector’s current demands.

“In the last few years, the hospitality sector has faced a number of challenges, as well as several positive injections from the market,” said Robustini. “On one hand, low oil prices and weak economic growth have contributed to reduced spending on tourism in the Middle East, but on the other hand, governments, like the UAE’s, have responded by diversifying their economies and increasing the level of their infrastructure, and major events such as Expo 2020 have helped keep such markets afloat, gradually moving in the right direction.”

Read more: Middle East Architect