Qatar: Middle East hospitality congress kicks off to a good start

Abdulla Malalla Al-Bader, Director of Tourism at Qatar Tourism Authority, inaugurates two-day congress on Middle East Hospitality; Hospitality growth estimated at annual rate of 8.1%.

Doha, Qatar, October 11th 2012 – When it comes to hotel occupancy, it is safe to say the Middle East has little to worry about. Estimates predict the GCC hospitality market will grow at an annual rate of 8.1% to a total of US$ 38 billion by 2016. While Saudi Arabia is expected to remain the largest GCC market in terms of revenue followed by the UAE, Qatar shows much promise to become one of the fastest growing markets. Driven by its preparations for the World Cup and its US$ 57 billion National Vision 2030 plans, hotel occupancy rates in Qatar are expected to average around 67% to 73% between 2012 and 2016.

Providing the perfect platform for discussion for these developments, the 6th Annual Middle East Hospitality Expansion Congress 2012 began yesterday in Doha, Qatar. Organised by leading French business information company Naseba, the two-day congress convened 150 leading hoteliers and specifiers involved in existing or upcoming projects in the Middle East all seeking innovative ideas and solutions for projects.

Abdulla Malalla Al-Bader, Director of Tourism at Qatar Tourism Authority inaugurated the event, noting “As our mission at the Qatar Tourism Authority is to promote and support the country as a quality tourism destination for business, education, leisure, culture and sport, we see hotel expansion as the cornerstone for the future.”

“Qatar Tourism Authority’s strategy is to grow the tourism industry by 20% in the next five years. As part of its five-year plan, Qatar is investing US$ 17 billion into tourism infrastructure, including the construction of luxury hotels, resorts and meeting facilities. To meet forecasted demand, hotel capacity will increase by 400% to over 29,000 luxury rooms and apartments by 2012″, explained Abdullah.

The welcome address was followed by a presentation by Amine Moukarzel, President of Golden Tulip MENA, who gave an overview of the tourism and hospitality industry outlook in the Middle East.

The highlights of day one of the congress included expert keynote presentations, panel discussions, pre-arranged meetings, an executive exhibition pavilion and strategic networking functions. It also featured companies such as Al Reyami and O W Hospitality who presented their products and solutions to the attending buyers.

Mohammed Saleem, General Manager at naseba stressed: “This congress is bringing together some of the most respected hospitality corporations in the region. With the on-going National Vision 2030 and the FIFA World Cup 2020, emerging projects and markets in the MENA region hold great potential; this is why our event format incorporates maximum networking opportunities and pre-arranged one-to-one meetings in a business-focused environment to establish lucrative business relationships”