Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

2021 | Dubai, UAE

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US$23 billion worth of hotels to be built in MENA by 2023

Posted on February 22, 2020

Third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast identifies Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia as the markets to watch in 2020

Dubai, UAE. XX February, 2020. The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2020 has released the third annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast, which reveals that more than US$23 billion worth of hotel construction contracts are scheduled to be awarded in the Middle East and North Africa between now and 2023.

According to research conducted by regional project tracking service, MEED Projects, in Q4 2019, the hotel development sector will be most active in Oman, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia, making these the markets to watch in 2020.

Ed James, Director of Content and Analysis at MEED Projects, said: “On the back of the more than 700 new hotels worth in excess of US$53 billion having been built over the past seven years, the Middle East is rightly viewed as a high-growth region for tourism. Growing economies, enhanced infrastructure and the opening up of the sector have acted as catalysts for development.”

“In terms of the hotel pipeline, Saudi Arabia is the leading future market with just under $9 billion worth of projects planned to be awarded over the next four years,” continued James. “This includes a minimum of 21,500 rooms, across 36 individual hotel, resorts and masterplanned tourist destinations.

He explained: “The Kingdom has made tourism and the opening up of its cultural heritage and pristine Red Sea coastline key components of its 2030 Vision. Self-styled ‘gigaprojects’ like The Red Sea Project, Amaala, Neom and the Qiddiya entertainment hub are set to transform Saudi Arabia and the region over the next few years.”

The UAE lies in second place, with $7.6 billion worth of hotel construction contracts on the four-year horizon. Oman has hotel developments worth just over $2 billion in the pipeline, while Egypt has some $1.9 billion worth of projects set to be awarded by 2023.

The levels of investment revealed by the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast over the next four years are testament to an incredibly buoyant market.

“New hotel resorts like Jebel Sifah and the St. Regis Muscat in Oman, the Ritz-Carlton in Sharm el-Sheikh and the MGM Resort and Bellagio Hotel in Dubai are set to continue to make the Middle East one of the most vibrant and diverse tourism destinations in the world,” added James.

The regional hotel pipeline and the future outlook for hotel investment in the Middle East will be discussed in depth at the 16th edition of AHIC, which returns to Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 14-16 April.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: “The AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast is an incredibly valuable piece of research that clearly demonstrates that the Middle East still has so much to offer when it comes to future hotel expansion and investment. We’re especially excited to see markets such as Oman and Egypt, which offer incredibly rich and diverse tourism landscapes, return to the forefront of development in the region”.

Worsley continued: “The ever-evolving hotel management models, brands and products coming to the region will be discussed at AHIC 2020 under the theme,  ‘Transform Tomorrow’, which will explore the many different ways hotel owners and operators alike are adapting their businesses to compete in the future”.

Commenting on the AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast, José Silva, CEO of Jumeirah Group, host sponsor of AHIC, said: “Jumeirah Group continues to extend its global footprint with properties that elevate the brand in sought after destinations both regionally and internationally. GCC countries represent fundamental source markets for us and we are constantly interested in finding the right markets and opportunities for us.

“In KSA, our current strategic project is taking place in Makkah – Jumeirah Jabal Omar – our first hotel in the Kingdom, set to open in 2021. We are also very interested in the mega projects that Saudi Arabia is heavily investing in and that we believe presents an excellent business proposition for Jumeirah, such as NEOM Metropolis and the Red Sea,” he continued.

“Other GCC projects in the pipeline include our continued expansion in Bahrain and our Muscat Bay property in Oman, which will be completed later this year. We understand the needs and expectations of the regional markets, and we are confident in our ability to carry the UAE’s hospitality success story of Jumeirah to those markets,” added Silva.

Also remarking on the data, Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Business Development – Middle East, North Africa & Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group, platinum sponsor of AHIC, said: “We are pleased to see the four countries to watch for 2020 in line with the growth strategy of Radisson Hotel Group. We have indeed accelerated our growth in each market where we are currently the leading operator in Oman; have recently announced a portfolio of six additional hotels in Egypt further cementing our position in Cairo; and we expect in 2020 the opening of new locations within the UAE and the introduction of the first Radisson RED within the Middle East in Dubai, further demonstrating our commitment to innovate and offer winning solutions to our partners.”

Radisson’s Elie Milky, Vice President, Business Development – Middle East, Pakistan, Greece and Cyprus, added: “Furthermore, we secured over 45 hotels in operation and under development in Saudi Arabia, making our group well positioned to create value to our owners as we create critical mass and translate operational efficiencies.”

AHIC 2020 features a stellar line-up of more than 100 high profile speakers and promises to bring together more than 800 hotel investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level hotel executives for three days of content, networking and events.

For more information about AHIC 2020, visit: 

Note to Editors:

About AHIC 2020

AHIC, now in its 16th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with Middle East business intelligence brand, MEED. AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders. AHIC 2020 will be held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 14 April to 16 April and hosted by its founding patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, whose continued support of the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth.

AHIC 2020 Sponsors

Sponsors include: Jumeirah Group as Host Sponsor; Accor, Al Hokair Group, Dur Hospitality, JA Resorts & Hotels, Marjan and Radisson Hotel Group as Platinum Sponsors; Emaar Hospitality Group, IHG, Marriott International, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, SMIT Morocco, and Taiba Investments as Emerald Sponsors; and Alkamal International, Colliers, Distance Studio Consultants (DSC), Drees & Sommer, febc, Hilton, The Indian Hotels Company Limited, Insignia, JLL, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, Melia Hotels International, Oakwood, OBMI Architecture, RAK Hospitality Holding, Roya, Schneider Electric, Shaza Hotels, SSH, The Red Sea Development Company, and Wyndham as Gold Sponsors. Al Tamimi and Company, HVS, MMAC Design Associates, PWC, Shangri-la Group and Times World are the Silver Sponsors, while The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, and Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) are Supporting Partners.

For more information about AHIC 2020, please visit:

Press Contact: Anne Bleeker, Managing Partner, In2 Consulting; Office: +971 4 455 8499; Mobile: +971 566030886