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| 06 February, 2017

GCC hospitality sector to grow despite downturn: GIOHIS

Image for illustrative purpose. A woman walks with a baby stroller in a hotel lobby in Dubai.

Image for illustrative purpose. A woman walks with a baby stroller in a hotel lobby in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumanah El-Heloueh

06 February 2017
Increasing numbers of travelers from newer source markets, such as India, China, Far East and Saudi Arabia will eventually allow a return to growth in the GCC region’s large hotel industry, according to industry experts — but only after a tough period ahead.

According to Alpen Capital Hospitality Report, the GCC’s hospitality market is expected to grow at a 7.6 percent CAGR from an estimated $25.4 billion in 2015 to $36.7 billion in 2020. Despite a challenging period last year and a weak average rate environment in 2017, the market is likely to recover in the long-term, driven by rise in tourist arrivals stemming from upcoming mega events and government efforts.

Key industry players, including hotel owners, developers and investors, will convene today and tomorrow in Abu Dhabi at the Gulf Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS 2017) to hear from around 90 speakers and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving hotel industry, including the rise of the mega-travel companies, new and fast-rising hotel real estate companies and changes in the power structure of the industry.

“Diversification in new source markets will eventually allow a recovery in hospitality industry performance levels as emerging inbound markets gain traction,” said Simon Allison, CEO of HOFTEL, a leading association of hotel property investors and organizer of GIOHIS 2017.

Marko Vucinic, SVP MENA, Hotels and Hospitality Group, JLL MENA agreed, noting that: “India is now Dubai’s first source market and countries such as China are targeted by Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in their campaigns and actions.” 

He added: “The UAE market will remain under pressure in the short term, while in the long term we expect more positive sentiment. The UAE is currently building its place on the international map with the addition of new leisure, entertainment and tourist offerings.” 

Key speakers include: Mohammed Al-Mubarak, CEO of Aldar; Mike Goodson, head of hotels at ADIA; Joe Sita, CEO of IFA Hotels; Gaurav Bhushan, CDO of AccorHotels; Mohamed Awadalla, CEO of Time Hotels; Olivier Chavy, CEO of Mövenpick Hotels; Nehme Darwiche, CEO of Jannah Hotels; and Yannis Anagnostakis, CEO of RAK National Hotels.

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© Arab News 2017