80 new four- and five- star hotels for the Gulf

UAE leads with 37 new hotels by end of 2008, followed by Kuwait with 14

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By  Eudore Chand Published  March 12, 2005

Recognition of tourism as a key driver of growth within the Gulf countries has helped inflate the ongoing construction boom, as plans to build a further 80 new four- and five-star properties get underway. The UAE accounts for almost half of the new hotels, according to a region-wide survey carried out by the Dubai office of TRI Hospitality Consulting. Plans have been confirmed to build another 37 new hotels in the UAE by 2008, followed by 14 in Kuwait. Qatar — the host for next year’s Asian Games — will build 13 new hotels; Saudi Arabia will have ten more, Bahrain five and Oman just one more. “The key word in our survey is ‘confirmed’,” says Peter Goddard, managing director of the Dubai office of TRI, one of the world’s leading management consultancy in hotels, tourism, leisure and real estate. “In Dubai in particular, there is an element of confusion surrounding which hotel developments have been confirmed and which are still in the pre-feasibility stage,” said Goddard. “On Palm Jumeirah, for example, there’s a great deal of buzz surrounding all of the proposed hotel projects. According to our research, nine are confirmed so far. While I have every confidence that there will be in the region of 30 to 40 hotel projects when The Palm is complete, TRI’s research has culminated in the most accurate snapshot of the current status of hotel developments in the region,” Goddard added. According to TRI’s Middle East website, the confirmed hotel and resort projects on Palm Jumeirah are the first two phases of Kerzner International’s Atlantis, the Hilton Palace, the Metropolitan, two Radisson SAS properties (one each on The Palm’s Crescent and Trunk), The Fairmont Palm Hotel and Resort, The Fairmont Palm Vacation Club and The Palm Sun Hotel and Resort. The area of Dubai with the most confirmed hotel developments, however, is Sheikh Zayed Road/Al Barsha, with 12 future hotels confirmed, including the five-star, 250-room Armani Hotel in Burj Dubai. Commenting on the growth in mixed-use hotel developments, Gavin Samson, TRI’s managing consultant, said, “The rapid expansion of the tourism and real estate markets in the GCC in recent years has been fuelled by an ever-growing number of ambitious mixed-use development projects that incorporate significant hotel components.” Samson continued by saying, “These developments are now integral at both a country and regional level, as governments seek to diversify their economies through the key growth areas of tourism and real estate.”

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