According to the most recent information from hospitality company STR, the only region where hotel pipeline activity increased at the end of 2022 was the Middle East and Africa (MENA).
There were 238,635 hotel rooms under contract in the region as of December 2022, an increase of 1.1% over the same month in 2021.
In December 2022, there were at least 74,863 rooms in the planning stage, an increase of 11.5% from December 2021, and at least 41,086 rooms were in their final planning stage, up by 6%.
At least 122,686 rooms were being built overall, a 5.8% decrease from December 2021.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates contributed 40,742 and 27,456 rooms, respectively, leading the construction industry.
Other markets saw a decrease in hotel pipeline activity, with Europe seeing a total of 11.2% fewer rooms under contract.
Eight hundred ninety-one thousand two hundred thirty-six rooms were under contract in the Asia Pacific, a 5.4% decrease. Seven hundred thirty-six thousand eight hundred twenty-three rooms were under contract at The Americas, a 3.2% decrease.
According to STR, the United States held the majority of the region’s rooms under construction (159,344) and experienced its first year-over-year growth in this period since late 2020. Canada (6,752) and Mexico (11,398) have the most rooms under construction in the region after the United States.
Saudi Arabia Leads The Way
More hotel rooms are planned for Saudi Arabia than for the United Arab Emirates, a longtime tourism centre. The Kingdom keeps moving forward with its tourism objectives and plans to reach 100 million annual visitors by 2030.
As of December 2022, 40,742 hotel rooms were under development in Saudi Arabia, according to STR. Currently, 27,456 rooms are being built in the United Arab Emirates. The only region in the world where hotel development increased YOY in the month was the MEA region.
The total number of rooms under contract increased by 1.1%, while markets including Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas all had declines of between 3.2 and 11.2%.
The STR survey report comes at a time when Dubai still remains a standout global property marketplace, with a double-digit price surge for 2022, thus resisting the pressures of rising interest rates and inflation with two straight years of turbo-charged growth.
As per Property Monitor, overall realty price growth reached 11.05% in 2022, averaging 0.92% per month, down from 1.33% per month in 2021, when annual price growth was just shy of 16%. As per the report, it is still a very strong yearly performance.
2022 also has been “an incredibly strong year” for the Dubai real estate market as property price recorded a 1.17% increase in December. Property values now stand at Dh 1,089 per sq. ft., according to the Property Monitor Dynamic Price Index (DPI). The sector’s financial health is now back to a level not seen since December 2013 during the last market upswing and in January 2018 on the long pre-Covid down cycle.
The total volume of sales transactions declined 10.4% in December 2022, registering a total of 9,131 sales.
However, transactions for the month still reached a level that marks the strongest December on record and almost double that of every December since 2014.
Sales performance in 2022 for the residential segment did indeed reach a new all-time high with 86,849 sales displacing the long-standing record of 80,831 sales set in 2009.
Regarding actual construction, MEA has 122,686 rooms under construction—a decrease of 5.8%. However, other phases, such as final planning and planning rooms, were both active. Seventy-four thousand eight hundred sixty-three rooms are in various stages of development, an increase of 11.5%; 41,086 rooms are in final planning, an increase of 6%.