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Promising Future for GCC Hospitality Sector, as UAE Forecasted to Exceed UD7 Billion by 2026

Recent data from global research companies indicates a bright future for the GCC hospitality industry, with insights from Deloitte and STR demonstrating sustained growth as tourism continues to be a key priority for regional governments. The upcoming edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), a premier global event in travel and tourism, will serve as a pivotal gathering for hospitality stakeholders when it takes place from May 06-09 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to Deloitte, Dubai is leading the regional hospitality markets with a strong outlook for this year. The city now offers more hotel rooms than major capitals such as London, New York City and Bangkok, and as of this month, Dubai has a hotel room capacity of over 150,000.

 Data from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) shows that the city welcomed 17.15 million overnight visitors during 2023, with the average length of stay also increasing. According to Deloitte, occupancy peaked at 88 percent in February.

 Elsewhere in the region, STR figures show that Riyadh is leading the way in terms of hotel supply growth, offering an additional 28,465 rooms, a 134 percent increase. Meanwhile, Doha has doubled its hotel inventory over the past decade, with a current supply of 39,968 rooms.

 “As the hospitality landscape in the GCC region continues to evolve, the data paints a compelling picture of growth and opportunity. ATM 2024 will feature a wide range of hospitality brands from around the world, and we are pleased to report that there has been a 21 percent increase in exhibition space dedicated to hotel brands this year, demonstrating strong interest and demand,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

 Cutis added, “IHG Resorts is the official hotel partner for ATM 2024, and this year's edition is set to welcome back some of the most respected brands in the hospitality industry, including Four Seasons Hotels, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, and the Shangri-La Group. It's worth noting that the number of hospitality brands showcased at ATM has increased by 12 percent with a good selection of well-known international and regional brands. With so many world-class brands in attendance across all categories of luxury, upper-midscale and midscale, ATM 2024 promises an enriching experience for all attending.”

 Several new European hotel brands, including Ethno Belek in Turkey and Buff Medical Resort in Germany, will exhibit at ATM for the first time. European Voyages, which specialises in tours, transfers, and private jets, will also mark its debut appearance. There has been a notable surge in exhibitor participation from Italy and Turkey, reflecting a growing interest from these regions in reaching the lucrative Middle East tourism market.