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MENA’s hotel sector recovery driven by corporate events

Several regional markets are set to achieve hotel occupancy rates of 70% or above in 2022

According to the latest industry forecast from Colliers International, hotel demand across the majority of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets is expected to achieve parity with 2019 levels of performance in 2022.

While corporate demand bolstered the MENA hotel industry’s initial post-pandemic recovery, the Colliers report notes that the region’s domestic and leisure segments are likely to take on an increasingly important role in 2022, amid ongoing changes in operational practices for global business travel.

In addition, the researchers predict that mega events, such as Expo 2020 Dubai and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, will not only drive a major influx in demand for their hosts, but are also likely to deliver a beneficial ‘halo effect’ for surrounding markets.

Overall, the UAE’s hotel sector is predicted to witness a 12% year-on-year uptick in 2022, while Qatar’s capital city, Doha, is likely to exceed 2019 levels of hotel demand both this year and next.

Several other regional markets are set to experience increased occupancy rates next year, including Ras Al Khaimah (70%), Cairo (70%), Alexandria (70%) and Doha (72%)

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director at Arabian Travel Market, said: “With the MENA travel and tourism sector’s recovery now in full swing, we expect ATM 2022 to be even busier. A range of big hitters from the hotel sector have already confirmed they will be attending, including Jumeirah International; Atlantis, The Palm; Marriott Hotels International; JA Resorts & Hotels; Steinberger Hotels; Minor Hotel Group; Best Weston International; and many more. And there’s still six months to go until the main event.”

The Colliers research also notes that consistent government backing for tourism and travel throughout the pandemic will continue to represent a key factor in the sector’s recovery. Domestic-focused initiatives, which supported regional hotels during heightened travel restrictions, are expected to result in ongoing improvements for markets such as Ras Al Khaimah and Riyadh.

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Curtis added: “The predictions set out in Colliers International’s latest forecast are not only extremely encouraging, but they are also in keeping with the expectations of many other industry experts. We anticipate that the sector will continue to gain momentum and find itself in an even stronger position by the time of the show, which is why we can’t wait to welcome delegates and attendees for some insightful discussions and lively debate at the ATM Hotel Industry Summit.”

Delegates at next year’s event will debate a range of pressing industry issues, such as how tourists’ priorities are shifting and the ways in which the sector can continue to rebuild and innovate within a post-pandemic landscape.

Now in its 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), ATM highlights will include destination summits focused on the key source markets of Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and India.

ATM will take place at DWTC from 8-11 May 2022. For more information, visitwtm.com/atm/en-gb.html

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