Middle East hotel projects under contract up, Saudi Arabia has most rooms under construction

Above, construction cranes outside the Grand Mosque in Makkah. Hotels are being built in Makkah to accommodate the surge in number of pilgrims. (Reuters)
Updated 13 September 2017
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Middle East hotel projects under contract up, Saudi Arabia has most rooms under construction

DUBAI: Optimism runs high among Middle East hospitality operators with 583 hotel projects under contract as of August, global hotel data STR said in its latest Pipeline Report.
STR defines hotels under contract as projects in the construction, final planning and planning stages but including projects in the unconfirmed stage.
The 583 hotel projects under contract represent a 5.4 percent increase from a year ago, with 309 hotels now under construction involving 98,027 rooms. The number of rooms was 17.2 percent higher in year-over-year comparison.
Among the Middle East countries, Saudi Arabia had the most number of rooms in construction at 40,020 involving 89 projects; the UAE with 35,050 rooms in 121 projects and Qatar with 9,627 rooms in 41 projects.
JLL earlier said among the hotel properties under construction in Saudi Arabia include the Double Tree by Hilton in Makkah involving 668 keys; the Staybridge Suites Her’a Dyafa Center in Jeddah with 200 keys; the Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Thalia Jeddah with 164 rooms; the Somerset Corniche in Jeddah with 135 rooms and the Hyatt House Sari Street also in Jeddah with 104 rooms.
Meanwhile, STR said that 208 hotel projects were under contract in Africa, with 28,620 rooms from 160 hotels now under construction as of August, 5.6 percent lower compared with the previous year.
Among the African countries that reported more than 4,000 rooms under construction are Angola with 4,451 rooms (32 projects) and Egypt with 4,169 rooms from 12 projects.


Tunisia tourism sector makes flying start to 2019

Updated 16 min 23 sec ago
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Tunisia tourism sector makes flying start to 2019

  • Influx of up to $262.6 million in hard currency revenues — an increase of 35.1 percent on last year

LONDON: Tunisia wooed more tourists in the first quarter of this year, which saw a 17.4 percent increase in arrivals compared to the same period in 2018, according to Tunisian Ministry of Tourism data quoted by Asharq Al-Awsat. 

The tourism sector saw an influx of up to 787.8 million dinars ($262.6 million) of hard currency revenues — an increase of 35.1 percent on last year, the newspaper reported.
Minister of Tourism Rene Trabelsi said that the tourism sector was boosted by arrivals from Europe, which rose around 22.3 percent.
After several years of shunning Tunisia in the wake of a gun attack on a beach in Sousse that killed 39 tourists and one at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis that killed 21, major European tour operators have started to return.
Arrivals from France increased 24.7 percent, while the Dutch market developed around 13.5 percent, it was reported.

 

Trabelsi expects more positive growth in the coming period, based on the bookings of global travel agencies. 
Tunisia seeks to attract 1 million French tourists, 640,000 Russian tourists, and 390,000 German tourists this season. It forecasts that it will host around 9 million tourists overall this year.
In 2018, Tunisia’s tourism revenues jumped to $1.36 billion as the country saw the arrival of a record 8.3 million visitors, according to data from the ministry.
The sector generates about 400,000 jobs and accounts for 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product (GDP).

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9m

Forecast number of tourist arrivals in Tunisia this year, up from 8.3 million last year in Sousse, Tunisia.