Christian Stan, at 1 Aug. 16, in City Hotels, Hotels, News

The UAE’s hospitality industry, which is on track to welcome several millions more visitors by 2020, has 26,989 new rooms in 93 hotels under construction, according to STR.

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Room at Burj al Arab Hotel, Dubai

Saudi Arabia reported the most rooms “in construction” among the countries in the Middle East and Africa, with 35,770 rooms in 81 hotels. Other countries with more than 5,000 rooms under construction include Qatar (7,125 rooms in 30 hotels) and Egypt (6,095 rooms in 18 hotels).

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Suite view at Atlantis Dubai

STR’s June 2016 Pipeline Report shows 154,576 rooms in 550 hotels under contract in the Middle East and 55,736 rooms in 289 hotels under contract in Africa. Under contract data includes projects in construction, final planning and planning stages but does not include projects in the Unconfirmed stage.

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Traditional deluxe room at Medinat Jumeirah, Dubai

With hardly four years for the World Expo 2020, when Dubai is expected to receive 20 million visitors, hotel rooms in the emirate are projected to witness an exponential growth, the emirate is driving the boom in the UAE’s hotel industry.

JLL, a leading real estate investment and advisory firm, said Dubai is set to see a massive increase of 28,000 new hotel rooms by 2018. This is a further surge of 7,000 rooms from JLL’s recent prediction of 21,000 new keys by 2017. With Dubai’s hotel industry already hitting the 100,000-room milestone, the city aims to firmly position itself as a top 10 global destination in terms of available hotel supply.

Over the next three years, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) expects occupied room nights in hotels and hotel apartments to reach 36.9 million, representing an 11-12 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2018 end. As such, the overall room supply is expected to reflect similar growth, reaching 138,000 rooms by the end of 2018, Dubai Tourism said in a statement.

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Minimalistic room at Armani Hotel, Dubai

In line with its tourism strategy, Dubai’s destination proposition has been developing steadily, fuelled by investment from government, public and private sectors, in order to meet the target of attracting 20 million visitors per year by 2020. A number of major theme parks are also due to open this year, along with more cultural offerings including Dubai Opera House and Dubai Historical District, as well as highly diversified retail and shopping environments. All of these developments will ultimately drive longer visitor stays.

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