GCC to be home to 1M hotel rooms amidst staff shortage: Report

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be home to one million hotel rooms by 2026, with Saudi Arabia accounting for the largest number among them.

The increased number of hotel rooms is credited to the improved tourism standards in the Gulf region. However, a whitepaper released by advisory firm Colliers International, the growth in tourism is expected to be hampered by the shortage of hospitality staff.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE themselves require as many as 90,000 staff members in the near future, the issue could only be addressed if the homegrown talent is nurtured.

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As per the “Hospitality Education in the GCC with a focus on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) & the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – Unlimited Growth Opportunities” report, the research group concluded that the hospitality industry in the GCC region grew phenomenally over the past decade with inbound tourist arrivals reaching 59.7 million in 2019, rising approximately 4.1 percent during the 2015 – 2019 period.

The hotel rooms have been in demand for business trips, leisure and religious travel.

“While Saudi Arabia has historically been the center for religious tourism and pilgrimage for Muslims, the Kingdom is rapidly developing itself as a leisure destination, with the activation of several destinations including Al Ula, Qiddiya, The Red Sea Project, etc., in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which emphasizes further development of the hospitality and tourism,” executive director for the MENA region at Colliers International, Mansoor Ahmed was quoted as saying by Al Arabia News.

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