Growth trends in GCC hospitality according to Deloitte and STR

Growth trends in GCC hospitality according to Deloitte and STR


Recent findings from global research firms highlight promising trends shaping the GCC hospitality sector. Deloitte and STR emphasize sustained growth, reflecting governmental priorities in fostering tourism development across the region.

Deloitte’s insights underscore Dubai’s pivotal role in the regional hospitality landscape, projecting robust expansion throughout 2024. With over 150,000 hotel rooms, Dubai now exceeds major global capitals like London, New York City and Bangkok in accommodation capacity. Consequently, this increase in infrastructure positions Dubai as a premier global destination for business and leisure travelers alike.


According to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the city welcomed 17.15 million overnight visitors in 2023. This marks a significant increase compared to previous years. Moreover, there has been a noticeable rise in the average length of stays. Thus, indicating growing tourist engagement and satisfaction with the city’s offerings. Deloitte’s data further highlights that February saw peak occupancy rates at 88 percent, thereby underscoring Dubai’s appeal as a resilient and attractive tourist destination despite global uncertainties.


Meanwhile, STR’s statistics reveal Riyadh’s impressive trajectory in hotel supply growth: a remarkable 134 percent increase with the addition of 28,465 new hotel rooms. This expansion is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader Vision 2030 initiative aimed at diversifying the economy and enhancing the country’s tourism infrastructure.


Over the past decade, Doha has also doubled its hotel inventory to 39,968 rooms, accommodating the region’s growing demand for hospitality services. This growth aligns with Qatar’s strategic plans to position itself as a leading hub for international events and leisure tourism in the Middle East.


Kostas Nikolaidis, Middle East and Africa executive for STR, stated: “Ongoing growth continues to define the GCC hospitality industry. Notable expansion plans are underway for key gateway cities like Dubai, Riyadh, Doha as well as secondary cities across the region. Mostly driven by solid performance, investor interest and ambitious visions for the future.

These developments underscore a dynamic hospitality market in the GCC region. This is mainly driven by strategic investments and a robust tourism agenda set by regional governments. Countries in the Gulf region continue to invest in tourism infrastructure and diversify their economies. Therefore, they are poised to attract a broader range of international visitors and solidify their positions on the global tourism map.

In conclusion, the resilience and growth of the GCC’s hospitality sector is unflinching despite global challenges.


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Website Icon png images | PNGEgg


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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