Qatar to face challenge over hotel capacity post-2020

Qatar could face considerable problems of over-capacity with the hotels it builds for the 2022 World Cup finals, reported Construction Week Online.

A report by Samba Financial Group says the number of hotel rooms required by FIFA for the showpiece is 60,000 – a significant increase on the country’s 13,551 that Qatar Tourism Authority recorded at the end of 2013.

The study cited the problems faced by South Africa in 2010, with many cities facing an over-supply of luxury hotels after the tournament finished.

“These rooms (in Qatar) achieved an average occupancy rate of 65% over 2013 by attracting 1.2mn visitors. In comparison, Dubai had 84,534 rooms at the end of 2013, attracting 11mn visitors and achieving an occupancy rate of 82%,” Samba’s report said.

“Although the recent growth of the tourism industry in Qatar has been robust, it will be difficult for the country to achieve the level of visitor growth which will garner enough demand to support a 400% expansion in the number of hotel rooms in eight years.

“In fact, it will require an annual average compound growth rate of 27.2% until 2022. Further, the latest statistics show that average revenue per room in Doha is down to $222 in March from $261 in 2013 despite increasing demand.”

However, while Qatar may struggle to fill its hotel rooms, the report said the level of investment in hotels in relation to overall infrastructure “is minimal”.