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Middle East hotel sector sees continued recovery

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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. This was revealed in the latest industry forecast from Colliers International, commissioned by RX (Reed Exhibitions), the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022.

With year-on-year upticks anticipated across most MENA markets, the report spells excellent news for panelists and attendees at ATM Hotel Industry Summit. The event will take place during ATM at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 8-11 May. Several regional markets are set to achieve hotel occupancy rates of 70 per cent or above in 2022, including parts of Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Cairo and Doha.

While corporate demand, including meetings, incentives, conferences and events, 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. 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.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, for Reed, 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 notes that consistent government backing for tourism and travel throughout the pandemic has been – and 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, UAE and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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