October 2010 Middle East/Africa pipeline: STR Global
The Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline comprises 443 hotels totaling 121,218 rooms, according to the October 2010 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.
“The pipeline across the region has held steady compared to last month,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “However, we see (fewer) hotels in the ‘recently opened’ phase because of the downturn last year and the slower revenue per available room recovery in the region. The United Arab Emirates, driven primarily by Abu Dhabi and Dubai, continued to dominate the number of projects in the total active pipeline among countries in the region.”
Among the chain scale segments, the upper-upscale segment accounted for the largest portion of the total active pipeline with 28.7% and 34,805 rooms. Three other segments each made up more than 10% of rooms in the total active pipeline: the unaffiliated segment (25.2% with 30,605 rooms); the luxury segment (19.9% with 24,106 rooms); and the upscale segment (13.8% with 16,679 rooms). The midscale-without-food-and-beverage segment accounted for the smallest portion of the total active pipeline with 0.7% and 799 rooms.
Abu Dhabi tourism up 16%
Abu Dhabi saw a 16% increase in hotel guests through the first nine months of 2010, according to a report in AMEinfo.com.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said 1.3 million guests stayed in the emirate’s hotels during the period, with guest nights increasing 14% to 3.6 million.
“Growth in September, 26% on the same month last year with a 25% increase in guest nights to 396,726, was the strongest recorded since March 2009 and is strongly influenced by year on year variations in the timing of EID holidays,” said Lawrence Franklin, Strategy & Policy Director for the ADTA.
Qatar Holding plans acquisition
Qatar Holding is talking to Maybourne Hotel Group regarding an acquisition of the group’s London hotel portfolio, according to a report in hotelmanagementnetwork.com.
Qatar made a US$1.6 billion bid to buy the group that operates The Connaught, The Berkeley and Claridge’s.
Abu Dhabi sets green hotel guidelines
The planned 5-star resort Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort will be the first Abu Dhabi property subject to a new green rating system developed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
“These guidelines will be an extension of the UPC’s Estidama’s Pearl Rating system. These are the first government green design guidelines for new hotels. It means that shortly, new hotels will have a green rating alongside their star ranking,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the ADTA and Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort.
World Travel Market roundup
Quite a bit of Middle East/Africa hotel news came out of the World Travel Market held earlier this month. Following is a summary of the region’s hotel announcements.
- Middle East businesses are the front runners to acquire some of the United Kingdom’s most well-known brands, including the Savoy and Grosvenor House, according to the WTM Global Trends Report.
- Protea Hospitality Group is looking to capitalize on the interest in South Africa following that country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup by planning several properties. They are: Protea Hotel Fire and Ice in Cape Town; Melrose Arch in Johannesburg; and Protea Hotel Hatfield in Pretoria. Also, the Protea Hotel Hilton in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands joined the group.
- GHM is planning the 62-room Chedi Club Cairo and the Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland.
- Rotana Hotel Management Corporation expects to open 30 new developments during the next three years. The company plans to have 70 properties by 2014 in key Middle East and North Africa markets.
- Retaj Hotels & Hospitality in Qatar has created a new brand, Retaj Inn Doha, aimed at the budget market.
And, apart from all the WTM news, here is a list of other developments and transactions happening around the region.
- Rezidor Hotel Group plans to open the 120-room Radisson Blu Safari Resort Kruger Park during the second quarter of 2013.
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts plans to add six properties in Saudi Arabia by 2012, according to HotelierMiddleEast.com.
- Union Properties PJSC sold the Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre for AED1.1 billion (US$300 million).