Tourism projects worth an estimated $90 billion (Dh330.3 billion) are set to place the Gulf as the world’s most dynamic leisure destination, according to a new research.
Rapid growth in the sector means that the Gulf now has 185 major projects in progress, ranging from hotels and sports facilities to malls, marinas and theme parks, according to ProLeads, a research firm that monitors the construction industry in the region. Multi-billion dirham projects such as the Dubailand (pictured above) are expected to boost the region’s tourism industry.
A separate survey by US-based industry consultancy firm Deloitte revealed that the Middle East hotel industry is one of the fastest growing in the world with revenues per available room growing at 17 per cent in 2007. This figure exceeded those posted by the hospitality industry in Asia, Pacific and Europe.
“We know the Middle East is a fast developing market but survey after survey shows that it is growing on a grand scale, unmatched elsewhere and bucking negative economic trends [that other countries may be experiencing],” says Maggie Moore, Exhibition Director of The Hotel Show 2008, which will be held in Dubai from June 8 to 10.
Moore observed that throughout the GCC, countries such as Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia undertake massive development projects that attract investments in the travel and tourism industry.
“The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasted the Middle East to be the only region to remain on course for 5 per cent growth in travel and tourism this year. This is in spite of the concerns about the impact of deteriorating economic conditions in North America, Africa and Europe,” she said.
In Dubai alone, hotel revenues have grown substantially by 15.7 per cent to reach Dh12.5 billion in 2007, according to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Tourism has been directly contributing 18 per cent to the emirate’s economy.
Tourism projects hit $90bn