Hospitality sector to win big from Expo success

An additional 45,000 rooms needed if Dubai bid is victorious

NEWS, Business, 2020 World Expo, Dubai, Jones lang la salle

The hotel and logistics sectors will be two of the biggest winners from a successful Dubai 2020 World Expo bid, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Recent data revealed by JLL shows that average hotel occupancies over the first 10 months of 2013 have averaged 79% (up from 76% in the same period of 2012), resulting in a 6.5% growth in RevPAR compared to the same period of 2012.

With up to 25 million visitors expected to attend, the World Expo forms a major plank in the government's vision to attract more than 20 million foreign visitors annually by 2020. Estimates of the additional hotel supply necessary to accommodate these visitors vary, with a number of alternative accommodation strategies being considered, but could be as high as 45,000 additional rooms.

Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, head of JLL’s Hotel and Hospitality group in MENA, said: “‘Winning World Expo 2020 will be the single biggest driver of activity in the UAE tourist market over the next five years. With existing hotels in Dubai trading at high levels of performance, there is already demand for additional rooms, we now expect an additional surge in proposed supply in all sectors of the market, with DWC (Dubai World Central) emerging as a third major cluster of hotels in Dubai, complementing the existing clusters along the beach and in the CBD (Central Business District)/downtown area.”

The 168 member nations of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) will cast their votes tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide which candidate city will win the bid to host the Expo. Other candidate cities are Brazil's Sao Paulo, Turkey's Izmir and Russia's Yekaterinburg.


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