Doha, Qatar: Qatar has seen significant developments in the hospitality sector with the total supply of rooms reaching 38,000 in first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

The country saw a significant growth in tourist arrivals in January and February which boosted the hotel performance. The overall supply of hotel rooms in Qatar reached 38,000 in Q1 of this year with the opening of new hotels including Rixos in Qetaifan Island, Millenium Place Hotel, and Riviera Rayhann. This reflects an increase in supply of approximately 45 percent in five years, Cushman & Wakefield said in its Q1 2024 Real Estate Market Review.

The supply of hotel apartments has surpassed 9,000 units, more than 70 percent of which are located in West Bay. Supply remains dominated by high-end hotels and luxury apartments. According to STR Global’s classification, more than 31,000 rooms are classed as upscale or luxury, which is largely equivalent to four star and five star hotels.

While the increase in hotel supply has led to concerns of oversupply, the hotel real estate sector in Qatar has received a boost over recent months with a significant upsurge in tourist arrivals to Qatar since January.

Several major international events including the AFC Asian Cup, led to rise in number of arrivals to Qatar which increased by 78 percent in January and February from the last year.

However, increasing arrivals was a continuation of a trend which saw strong growth in tourist arrivals throughout 2023, with more than 3.9 million visitors arriving in Qatar last year.

Overall hotel occupancy jumped to 84 percent and 85 percent in January and February respectively – the highest level since 2015. The increase in occupancy has also resulted in an increase in the average daily rate (ADR).

The hotels of all categories, ranging from five star to two and one star, saw rise in occupancy rates and revenue per available room.

The three star hotels occupancy rate jumped to 95 percent in January 2024 against 69 percent in January 2023. Similarly, the occupancy rate of four star hotels reached 87 percent in January this year, while it was 43 percent in January. In case of five star, the hotels’ occupancy rates stood at 82 percent in the review period.

February witnessed a remarkable surge of 53 percent in international visitors compared to the same period last year, solidifying Qatar’s reputation as a burgeoning global tourism destination. The month welcomed 596,000 international visitors, a substantial rise from the 389,000 arrivals recorded in February 2023, showcasing consistent growth since 2022.

The boost in tourist arrivals and hotel performance in the first quarter has illustrated the impact of Qatar successfully hosting numerous international conferences and sporting events in recent months.

The AFC Asian Cup, and Web Summit were two significant events that attracted significant international interest. While the recent surge in tourist arrivals may not be sustained throughout the year, the completion of major tourism and leisure projects such as Meryal Water Park, which recently opened on Qetaifan Island North, will help to grow the leisure tourism sector and boost hotel occupancy in Qatar.

Qatar aims to triple the number of visitors to 6 million by 2030 and the expansion of the tourism sector is to capitalise on the infrastructure put in place. The expanding hotel sector, and associated F&B operations, will rely on Qatar significantly increase visitor numbers in the short to medium terms to support occupancy rates and maintain revenues.

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