Hospitality investment outlook shows 600,000 hotel rooms planned and under development in Middle East


Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Knight Frank, a global independent real estate consultant, and STR, provider of premium data benchmarking, analytics and market insights for the hospitality industry, announced ahead of the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) to be held March 19-21. Sep 2022.

According to Knight Frank data, the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector is projected to reach – and potentially exceed – pre-pandemic levels of more than 100 million tourist arrivals and over $270 billion in revenue by 2022 across all positive indicators to reach the target of 160 million tourists in 2030, powered by the region’s Giga projects that will unlock even more amazing tourism destinations and further boost travel and tourism.

“The region is undergoing a fascinating transformation in hospitality, with over 600,000 hotel rooms in the planning and development phase. This development quantum, unprecedented in the Middle East or even globally, will change the shape of the region’s tourism industry in the years to come, helping to further raise the region’s profile as one of the world’s key players in the hospitality industry,” said Turab Saleem, Partner & Head of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure – MENA at Knight Frank.

Successful management of mega-events has proven to be a key factor in the growth of tourism and hospitality, with the UAE welcoming nearly 24 million visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai – amid the global pandemic – and boosting the confidence of international travelers, like Knight Frank stated. With 65,000 hotel rooms under development in Dubai, the contribution of tourism is expected to reach 15% of GDP by 2030: the highest in the region and one of the highest in the world, with an international average of 9%.

According to data from STR, the Middle East has led the recovery in hotel performance throughout the pandemic, and that momentum continues into 2022 and beyond.

Referring to Dubai, the host city of the Future Hospitality Summit, Philip Wooller, Senior Director Middle East & Africa at STR said: “Dubai is having a great year with hotel RevPAR for the current period to July, up 23% from 2019. With most destinations in the region recovering and in many cases exceeding pre-pandemic performance levels, investor interest remains high . evidence of which is in the hotel pipeline. The success of Expo 2020 in Dubai and a keen interest in Saudi Arabia and the transformative Vision 2030 has boosted investment and fueled the hotel pipeline in the region. With the first mega projects approaching their first phase of completion and new ones being announced, the Kingdom is now firmly among the fastest growing countries in the world for hotel development.”

According to Knight Frank, Qatar’s hospitality market is expected to reach $54 billion by 2030. “Hosting the FIFA World Cup is a great opportunity for Qatar to develop its tourism sector to new heights. The country has committed $45 billion worth of funding to tourism and travel growth through 2030. There are currently over 56,000 hotel rooms in development with an estimated value of $7 billion, with international brands accounting for 62% of the inventory in the pipeline.” said Salem.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will complete US$110 billion worth of hotel projects by 2030 and has a total of 310,000 hotel keys under development, has one of the most ambitious tourism goals in the region with a target of 100 million tourists by 2030.

The pandemic has undoubtedly brought uncertainty to the hospitality landscape as hotel investment has been hit in recent years, but market sentiment has improved significantly and given the GCC’s aggressive growth plans in tourism and hospitality, well supported by its national airlines, the Prospects for the industry are bright.

“Hotel performance for the Middle East region is nearing full pre-pandemic recovery in 2022, which would be an excellent result,” added Wooller. “Hotel prices have been the main driver of RevPAR so far, and occupancy rates are also approaching 2019 levels. Meanwhile, anticipation is high for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and the impact it will have on national and regional hotel performance.”

The prospects for investment in hospitality, hotel performance and tourism plans of the region will be discussed in depth at next month’s FHS in Dubai with more than 120 high profile speakers and over 40 sessions in various formats including keynote presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

Hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and co-organized by The Bench and MEED, the FHS brings together the investment communities of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and the African Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) under one umbrella on the theme Lead the change.

For more information on Dubai FHS, visit For the full program of the FHS agenda, click here.

About the bank

The Bench has built a legacy of delivering world-leading investment forums and conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The key principle behind these platforms has remained “deal making”. Bench has earned a reputation for creating innovative and impactful meeting spaces for the industry by transforming the way businesses connect.

For over two decades – heads of government, ministries of tourism, global travel and tourism associations, the world’s most influential hotel brands, hotel owners and investors, renowned restaurant groups, airlines and aviation authorities, destination developers, wealth managers, financial groups and consultants have attended The Bench’s events for their respective goals to have. These include AHIC, AHIF, GRIF, FHS, AHF, IDEEA, AviaDev and RENEW – this is where industry players showcase their brands, position themselves as thought leaders or innovators and connect with the right opportunities and knowledge.

Learn more at

About MEED

Introduced on International Women’s Day in 1957, the Middle East Economic Digest, MEED is a well-known and trusted brand used by governments and businesses operating in the region.

MEED includes a business intelligence service, digital media, publications and events and offers exclusive news, data and analysis on a daily basis. We are responsible for keeping our audience of subscribers, registered users and event attendees informed and helping to facilitate decision making and connections.

Our Marketing Solutions team gives clients access to our audience. We partner with local and international companies that need to reach our high quality communities. In consultation with our clients, we use tried and tested methods to target and engage decision makers, to announce and explain how to lead and grow, and to contact and convert business leaders into customers.

MEED is fully owned by data and information company GlobalData Plc, which means our marketing solutions clients can also access a network of over 13 million monthly digital users across 18 different sectors.

Learn more at

Future Hospitality Summit (FHS)

Date: 19-21 Sep 2022

Location: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sponsors: Host Sponsor: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Platinum Sponsors: Accor, Dur Hospitality, Hilton, Marjan, Millennium Hotels & Resorts and Radisson Hotel Group

Emerald Sponsors: Emaar Hospitality Group, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, NEOM, Rotana, Royal Commission for AlUla, SMIT Morocco and Taiba Investments.

Gold Sponsors: Aleph Hospitality, CBRE, Colliers, Compass Project Consulting, Dentons, ELAF Group, ENVI Lodges, GG&Grace International, Hospitality Management Holding, HVS, The Indian Hotels Company, Insignia, Interior360, Ishraq Hospitality, IT Hospitality Group, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, LXA, Mapal Group, Minor Hotels, OBMI, PwC Middle East, QUO, SSH, STR, Valor Hospitality Partners and Voltere by egis.

Silver Sponsors: Deutsche Hospitality and Katch.

Supporters: Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA), Sustainable Hospitality Challenge and Women in Hospitality (WiH).

Anne Bleiker
In2 advice
+971 56 603 0886
The Bank


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