GCC hotel sector must diversify amid growing competition
With the world’s highest pipeline of new hotels set to come online in 2018, the hospitality industry in the Middle East must come up with more creative options amid growing competition
With the world’s highest pipeline of new hotels set to come online in 2018, the hospitality industry in the GCC must come up with more creative options amid growing competition.
The creation of new demand drivers will be critical in ensuring the region’s hospitality sector continues to grow despite the challenges of mounting competition and continued low oil prices, according to Hoftel, a by-invitation-only alliance of hospitality property investors.
Additionally, the design and construction community has a key role to play in providing creative ideas and solutions for meeting the future needs of the industry.
Simon Allison, Hoftel’s chairman, said: “All parts of the hospitality market need to embrace change in order to deliver long-term growth.
“There are fantastic opportunities ahead, but it’s critical we find new offerings and that all stakeholders work together. The design and construction industry is critical in helping to deliver this.”
With a continued focus on resort projects across the region, including the proposed new Red Sea islands planned for the Saudi coast, the sector has now started to shift towards other industries and segments to drive diversity in the market.
Industrial sectors are driving this change, with the rise of logistics and manufacturing hubs in Bahrain leading the trend.
Moreover, developers in Dubai are now moving towards more midscale offerings after largely focusing on luxury up to now.
Jerad Bachar from the Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “Bahrain, along with all countries in the GCC, continues to make great strides in economic diversification.
“Bahrain’s economy depends on strong contribution from financial services, manufacturing, and tourism.
“We are currently witnessing approximately $32bn worth of development investment in the kingdom, with $10bn directly connected to tourism including the airport modernization program and several resorts and retail destinations.”
How the GCC economies will drive the leisure and business travel sectors, and how hotels will deal with the pressure to fine-tune their offerings to deliver long-term growth, will be among the major talking points at the Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit 2018, to be held from 29-30 January.