DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s focus on tourism as one avenue to diversify the Kingdom away from oil dependence is receiving a boost with a slew of hotel projects now under construction.
Industry monitor STR, in its latest update on the Middle East and Africa hotel sector, said that projects now being undertaken in Makkah and Riyadh would add almost 30,000 rooms to the current supply.
In Riyadh, a total 6,290 hotel rooms are now being built to complement the 13,104 rooms in inventory while in Makkah about 23,307 are now in construction, which will add to the 32,377 rooms already in the market.
In other Gulf areas, current hotel projects in Dubai would add 36,394 rooms to the 97,736 rooms in supply while in Abu Dhabi about 4,064 rooms are now being constructed to boost the 26,678 rooms available to clients.
STR also noted that 333 properties are under construction in the wider Middle East region, comprising 105,037 hotel rooms while 146 projects are being implemented in Africa, equivalent to 26,030 rooms.
Meanwhile, STR said that the revenue per available room (RevPAR) and average daily rate (ADR) of Jeddah hotels slightly dipped in January despite an increase in demand during the month.
The ADR was 2.4 percent lower to SR732.33 while RevPAR slipped 2.1 percent to 370.33 on an industry occupancy rate of 50.6%. RevPAR, a key hotel industry performance indicator, is obtained by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate.
“The month’s high demand growth figure was boosted by the school holiday during the middle of January,” STR said in its report.
Hotel room availability in Jeddah was up 11.7 percent in January, while demand grew at a faster 12.1 percent rate.