Time is now for hospitality investment

Developers and investors should focus on UAE, KSA and Oman as growth markets in the region

Developers and investors in the Gulf, should look to the region’s hospitality industry, according to a number of speakers at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference.

Driven by the region’s ambitious tourism infrastructure developments – particularly airports – religious tourism and political stability in the face of the Arab Spring, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Oman have the most favourable investment conditions.

“Dubai is setting the standard in hotel occupancy rates and sustainability; Saudi Arabia is sagaciously tapping its oil funds to lead the way in religious tourism and prudently diversifying its contribution to GDP away from hydrocarbon revenues; and Oman – the often mentioned ‘dark horse’ at the conference – presents a landscape fertile for hospitality development, asserted chairman and CEO of Bench Events, Jonathan Worsley.

Speaking during the conference, Salman Haider, MD of Majid Al Futtaim Properties confirmed the group is already working on three proposed hotels located on The Wave, Oman.

“To accelerate your growth you need to embed speed and urgency into your response to the competitive challenge in high-growth emerging markets in MENA. Speed is of the essence,” commented Nenad Pacek, founder and president of Global Success Advisers Ltd, pictured.

“You cannot talk about the region as one entity. Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing markets globally: we are seeing growth in some Saudi businesses of more than 30 per cent,” he added, continuing to say growth in Dubai should reach 4% in 2012 and that postponed investments in Abu Dhabi should return next year.

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