Research by Proleads shows most hotel development, totalling $4.4bn, is in UAE

There is $7bn (£4.3bn) worth of hotels under construction in the Gulf, new research has found.

The majority of the projects, totalling $4.4bn, are in the UAE and $1.2bn worth are in Saudi Arabia, according to research company, Proleads, which surveyed countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) group.

Another firm, Lodging Econometrics, has found that 98 hotels will open in the Middle East in 2010 and 115 in 2011.

Shangri La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Rates of revenue per available room have declined year-on-year in the Middle East to about $125, though when compared with rates for Europe and the Americas, $81 and $55 respectively, the Middle East is faring better in the global downturn than other countries.

Maggie Moore, exhibition director of the Hotel Show, which will take place in Dubai in May, said: “It has been a tough time for the hospitality industry on a worldwide basis in 2009 and the Middle East has not escaped totally unscathed.”

She said that the global downturn had allowed the industry to “re-examine plans” , which had been “a healthy exercise.”

The GCC countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Quatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.