The UAE hospitality sector can expect a stream of new rooms next year and in 2018, as hotel completions accelerate before Expo2020 in Dubai.
About 183 projects are under way in the UAE and account for 54,000 rooms, according to Tophotelprojects, a research company in Germany.
Of these, 56 hotels are expected to come into operation next year, with 58 more in 2018, the company said ahead of the three-day Hotel Show Dubai, which starts on September 17.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have the most projects under way, with 131 hotels accounting for 41,133 rooms in Dubai, and 24 in Abu Dhabi with 6,486 rooms. Sharjah has embarked on six projects, with 959 rooms, and Ras Al Khaimah has five projects with 1,847 rooms.
Among the new hotels is Hard Rock Hotel Dubai Marina, which is set for a fourth-quarter opening with 288 rooms, according to the hotel. The Dubai private developer, Sheffield Holdings, is behind the project.
Paramount Hotel Dubai in the four-tower Damac project will have 823 rooms when it opens in the third quarter of next year, according to the developer Damac. It will be part of the Paramount Tower Hotel and Residences project.
The Landmark Group’s Citymax Hotel will open in Al Barsha with 120 rooms, while another one will be launched in Business Bay in Dubai with 375 rooms next year. A 204-room Citymax in Ras Al Khaimah is expected to open next year.
In an attempt to ramp up its hospitality offerings, Dubai is encouraging the construction of more hotels, especially midmarket ones, through a municipality tax waiver that is granted if a construction permit is granted by December next year. At the end of May, Dubai had 673 hotels and hotel apartments, up from 665 at the end of May last year, according to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
The increased supply of rooms is also pushing down the daily room rate. The average during the first five months in Dubai was Dh560, down from Dh633 a year earlier. The emirate expects to have more than 100,000 rooms by the end of 2020, to accommodate an anticipated rush of tourists during the Expo.
During the first five months of the year, it received 6.57 million international guests, up 4 per cent from the 6.32 million received a year earlier.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter