According to the Q3 2023 Middle East Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), at the end of the third quarter, the hotel construction pipeline in the region stands at 585 projects/139,582 rooms. Project counts in the region are up 9%, while room counts show a 3% increase year-over-year (YOY).

Projects presently under construction stand at 320 projects/83,760 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 103 projects/24,041 rooms, up 18% by projects and 11% by rooms YOY. Projects in the early planning stage stand at 162 projects/31,781 rooms, up 27% and 22%, respectively, YOY.

The Middle East, with an average of 239 rooms per construction project, continues to have the largest hotel construction projects in the pipeline of any region in the world, with most of these projects belonging to the top three chain scales. A whopping eighty-two percent of the Middle East’s projects at Q3 are concentrated within the luxury, upper upscale, and upscale chain scales. Total luxury hotel construction projects in the Middle East are up 26% YOY and currently stand at a record 156 projects with 33,346 rooms. Upper Upscale projects and room counts also reached record highs this quarter of 160 projects/40,789 rooms, a 22% increase in projects YOY. Upscale hotel construction projects closed the quarter at 163 projects/41,339 rooms.

Countries with the greatest number of projects in the construction pipeline at the close of the third quarter are led by Saudi Arabia, with 275 projects/67,614 rooms and accounting for 47% of the projects in the region’s total pipeline. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) follows with 107 projects/27,276 rooms, then Egypt with 91 projects/21,788 rooms. Next is Qatar with 35 projects/8,526 rooms, and Oman with 33 projects/6,598 rooms.

Dubai, with 66 projects/18,787 rooms, continues to dominate the construction pipeline in the UAE at Q3.

Cities with the largest hotel construction pipelines at Q3 are Saudi Arabia’s Provincial region with 115 projects/25,333 rooms, and Riyadh with an all-time high of 87 projects with 16,498 rooms. Jeddah follows with 51 projects/11,144 rooms, then Cairo with 33 projects/7,690 rooms, and Doha with 31 projects/7,690 rooms. Fifty-four percent of the projects in the construction pipeline in the Middle East are found within these five cities.

Through the third quarter, 22 new hotels, accounting for 6,173 rooms, opened throughout the Middle East. The LE forecast for new hotel openings expects that the Middle East is on track to open a total of 64 new hotels with 15,193 rooms by year-end. LE analysts forecast that new hotel openings in the Middle East in 2024 will rise to 110 hotels/25,644 rooms, and rise again in 2025, with 112 new hotels/23,346 rooms expected to open.