Recent industry data suggest that the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) hotel construction sector boomed in November 2015. Mid Group founder Sahel Majali explains how the country’s thriving tourism market is providing new opportunities for Middle-East based developers.

UAE tourism

The UAE, also referred to as the ‘Emirates’ has cultivated a robust tourism industry. A report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTC) a global travel and tourism forum, found that ‘travel and tourism’ directly contributed 4.1% of the UAE’s GDP in 2014. This is projected to rise by 4.9%, from AED61.6 billion to AED64.6 billion, by the end of 2015.

UAE hotel sector

This has had a positive effect on the Middle Eastern country’s hotel construction industry. Hotelier Middle East recently reported that new figures from STR Global, a company which analyses international hotel industry data, showed that over 1,000 hotel rooms became active in the Emirates in November 2015.

The STR Global paper also revealed that the UAE accounted for 103,749 of the total number of hotel rooms that are currently under construction in the Middle East. This means that the Emirates now comprises 19% of the total number of rooms under construction in the region.

Broken down

The report broke the UAE’s hotel construction numbers down by Emirate. The country is comprised of seven emirates including Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah. According to the STR Global report, Dubai and Sharjah recorded the most growth in terms of new hotel rooms and apartments in November 2015.

Dubai saw 618 new hotel rooms and apartments enter the sector in November. The Emirate is aiming to open 92,000 new hotel rooms by the end of 2015, up from its previous target of 76,000 in the first half of the year. Meanwhile 349 new hotel rooms opened in Sharjah in November of this year; the Emirate hope to increase its capacity by 15,000 hotel rooms by the end of the decade.

Mid Contracting MENA

The UAE is indicative of the strength of the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) hotel construction industry. As I noted in a previous article, an earlier STR Global report showed that the number of hotel rooms ‘under contract’ in the region increased by 29.1% in the year to October 2015 and MENA’s tourism industry is set to expand significantly in the next decade. The MENA countries, particularly the UAE, are set to provide developers with a number of lucrative hotel construction opportunities as we head into 2016.

Mid Contracting MENA has been delivering major constructing projects of the highest standards of quality and safety in the Middle East for over three decades. We’ve worked on a range of prestigious luxury developments such as the Le Royal Beirut Hotel Lebanon and the International Aqaba Hotel in Jordan. This has provided us with the skilled professionals, industry expertise and regional connections developers need to enter from MENA’s thriving infrastructure construction sector.