In the majority of locations within the GCC, the hotel sector has seen visitation continue to grow in 2023 with key indicators largely sitting above pre-COVID levels. While there are some exceptions, the most notable of which are Kuwait, and Muscat, market sentiment is broadly positive. Overall, we expect visitation to continue increasing within the GCC in 2024, however these increases will be felt disproportionally between countries.

Bahrain has seen mixed performance in 2023, with overall improving occupancy and RevPAR figures. There continue to be additional luxury resorts and city hotels added to the stock. There is a notable contrast, however, in terms of properties at lower price points linked to retail and entertainment centres outperforming the more exclusive five-star resorts in terms of occupancy.

In Saudi Arabia, the coming year will be a transitional one, as new destinations continue to be developed, and traditional homes of domestic leisure visitation such as Al Khobar, Jeddah and Abha find themselves in a more competitive market. In Riyadh, while corporate visitation will continue to be the cornerstone of hotel demand, increasing leisure-based initiatives will help both diversify the demand base, and boost weekend demand which has historically struggled.

In the UAE, various governmental initiatives have created pockets of opportunity in locations previously overlooked. The announcements regarding gaming in Ras al Khaimah for example have been conducive to development within the emirate, and we have seen an increase of private developers looking at opportunities that can be delivered before the announced milestones.

In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the beachfront luxury segment of the market is expected to continue registering outperformance, both in terms of occupancy and ADRs throughout the next twelve months given the declining stock of beachfront sites, and therefore the limited opportunities for supply expansions.

Figure 9