By Sachin Kumar
DOHA: Qatar’s hospitality sector is expected to see total count of room keys rising to 23,000 by the end of current year, registering a growth of 27 percent.
“By the end of 2016, the total supply will be around 23,000 hotel and service apartment keys. At the moment there are close to 19,000 hotel and service apartment keys in Qatar,” said Filippo Sona, Director, Head of Hotels Mena Region, Colliers International speaking on the sidelines of Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) Business Briefing held yesterday.
“The growth in keys from 2015 to 2016 will be around 27 percent,” he added.
Organised jointly by MEED (Middle East Economic Digest), Katara Hospitality and Bench Events at Sharq Village and Spa, the event brought together hospitality experts from the Middle East and North Africa who presented overview of Qatar’s hotel investment environment and performance forecasts for 2016.
According to Colliers International, a total of 1,460 keys opened in 2015 in Qatar. The most recent openings included properties such as the DoubleTree by Hilton Doha Old Town and the Shangri-La Hotel Doha.
Some hotels slated to open in 2015 have been pushed to first and second quarter of 2016, due to planning and licensing delays. Supply is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9 percent, with Msheireb Downtown Regeneration project representing an addition of 655 keys in 2016.
Doha is predominantly a business destination, with the corporate segment accounting for more than 60 percent of the hotel demand.
“Due to a dip in oil prices and slowing economic activity, Doha experienced a slow growth in corporate demand in 2015. This trend is expected to continue in the coming year, with Doha hotel RevPAR forecasted to decrease by 4 percent in 2016,” said Sona.
RevPAR or revenue per available room is one of the important performance metrics in the hotel industry.
Speakers said that Qatar’s hospitality market presents development opportunities within the midscale hotels and serviced apartments. The limited presence of these asset classes in Doha offers owners and investors a potential opportunity to target this market gap. Philip Wooller – Area Director Middle East & Africa, STR Global said that RevPAR averages $130 across the gulf region which was 50 percent higher than the rest of the world. Profits went up in all markets in 2014. However 2015 and 2016 look likely to be tougher years but profit margins are still very good.
Richard Thompson, Editor MEED gave overview on Qatar’s economy and Mark Shea, Head of Hospitality, Middle East Faithful + Gould discussed trend on hospitality sector.
“It is an honour to facilitate discussions at an event that brings together some of the region’s industry leaders in the area of hotel investment, development, operations and advisory,” said Christopher R J Knable, Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality.