The GCC hospitality and leisure-recreation market is poised for growth at a value of approximately $178.8 billion, according to BNC Project Intelligence. There are approximately 1,692 hospitality and leisure recreation projects in the GCC.
The market is led by hospitality which consists of projects related to hotels, hotel apartments and resorts. The combined estimated value of GCC projects in this sector is $126.8 billion.
The second sector is leisure and recreation, consisting of projects related to cinemas, theatres and auditoriums, golf courses, race courses, parks, stadiums, theme and water parks, animal reserves and zoos, sports clubs and facilities, museums and galleries. The combined estimated value of leisure and recreation projects is $52 billion.
A report by BNC Project Intelligence indicates that state-led initiatives are a main growth driver for this market, as each GCC country embarks on a long-term plan toward economic diversity. Part of these long term plan involves building up the tourism sector, which will have a direct impact on the hospitality and leisure-recreation market. Some countries, such as the UAE and Qatar, are investing heavily in tourism. For example, the Dubai Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup are expected to attract a high number of visitors, and thus increase demand in the hospitality and leisure-recreation market. As of now, many hospitality and leisure-recreation projects in the GCC are in the initial stages of construction, indicating a healthy pipeline of project investments in the near future.
The hospitality and leisure-recreation market in Qatar has shown tremendous growth potential. The announcement of the 2022 FIFA World Cup has boosted the number of projects
in this market.
According to the BNC Project Intelligence Database, Qatar has approximately 209 hospitality and leisure recreation projects. Yet, the combined estimated value of hospitality and leisure recreation projects in Qatar is around USD 17.9 billion. There are around 32 projects to do with stadiums and sports clubs and facilities. The combined estimated value of the 32 projects is USD 5.7 billion, and makes up around 32% of all hospitality and leisure-recreation projects in the country.
The main drivers for the hospitality and leisure recreation market are tourism, population and global events, all of which help stimulate growth for this market.
Hosting Global Events
International events are great sources for attracting tourist and professionals. According to BNC Project Intelligence, the Dubai Expo 2020, for example, is expected to bring 25 million visitors, 70% of whom will come from abroad. Dubai will increase the number of available hotel and hotel apartment rooms from 94,000 on hand at the start of 2015 to approximately 164,000 at the time of the event.
Similarly, Qatar will attract a significant number of football fans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. An estimated 60,000 hotel rooms will accommodate the foreign spectators. To put this into perspective, Brazil had welcomed 1.35 million visitors from 203 countries when hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This was 70% more visitors than what the country had estimated.
The GCC population was approximately 47 million people in 2015. It is on track to reach 53.5 million people by 2020. As the GCC population rises it creates a need to offer more activities for the public. Residents will have greater access to facilities such as restaurants, resorts, parks and other attractions.