Middle East hotels to get 7.8 million more nights by 2008

Over seven million more room nights will become available in the GCC four and five-star hotel sector by 2008, a figure that represents 18,947 Airbus A-380 aircraft trips per year, according to the latest industry research.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  March 29, 2005

Over seven million more room nights will become available in the GCC four and five-star hotel sector by 2008, a figure that represents 18,947 Airbus A-380 aircraft trips per year, according to the latest industry research. The region-wide survey of future upmarket hotel developments was undertaken by the Dubai office of TRI Hospitality Consulting, which identified 80 upcoming hotels and 21,283 future rooms in the Arabian Peninsula — the equivalent of 7,768,295 room nights of supply per annum. Although the largest single market remains the UAE, with 11,922 rooms due to become available between now and 2008 (9,628 of which are in Dubai alone), the GCC markets expected to make the largest gains are Qatar, with a projected 145% increase in room supply, and Kuwait, with an anticipated 75% increase in room supply. “The key word in our survey is ‘confirmed’,” says Peter Goddard, managing director of the Dubai office of TRI. “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. On The 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 adds. According to TRI, the confirmed hotel and resort projects on The Palm, Jumeirah are the first two phases of Kerzner International’s Atlantis, the Hilton Palace, the Metropolitan, two Radisson SAS properties, 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, according to TRI, is Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Barsha, with 12 future hotels confirmed, offering 2,948 rooms. Included among them is the five-star, 250-room Armani Hotel in the Burj Dubai development, which is due to open in 2008, and the five-star, 400-room Kempinski Hotel in the Mall of the Emirates, which is due to open in November 2005. On the Jumeirah coast, seven hotel and resort developments were identified as confirmed, while TRI listed six confirmed hotels and resorts north of Dubai Creek, including the five-star, 225-room Park Hyatt at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club and both a Four Seasons and InterContinental at Dubai Festival City. In Qatar, where the hotel sector has been given new impetus by the staging of the 2006 Asian Games, there are 13 confirmed hotel projects with a future supply of 3,118 rooms by 2007. The Pearl Island project alone is reported to have three hotels with 900 rooms opening in 2006. In Kuwait, where the Kuwait Hotel Owner’s Association has revealed a flurry of applications for new hotel projects (90 have been received), 16 hotel projects comprising 2,164 rooms are listed as confirmed for the country.

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