Trillions invested in ME tourism

A massive $3.63 trillion is being invested in hotels, leisure projects, aviation developments, cruise lines, tourism promotion and supporting infrastructure across the Middle East, according to the preliminary results of a research programme.

The Middle East Industry Outlook 2020 study produced by Fast Future and Global Futures and Foresight (GFF) covers 13 Middle Eastern countries for the period to 2020. It contains a detailed validation of development plans with major hotel groups, airlines, airports and travel and tourism boards across the region.
The research identifies plans to invest at least $580 billion in over 900 hotels across the region from Syria to Oman. The projected construction costs for the most recent announcements from over 72 developers, investors and operators vary from $10,000 to $5.71 million per room.
The 19 largest airlines in the region are expected to spend at least $143 billion adding 876 planes to their fleets. The largest buyers in terms of aircraft purchased and total investment are expected to be Emirates – buying 245 aircraft at $60 billion - and Qatar Airways purchasing 150 planes for $52 billion.
The study also looked at 19 major airports and identified a total planned investment of $38.9 billion with the ten largest airports expecting to add capacity for at least 320 million passengers. The two largest spending airports were Dubai World Central (Al Maktoum International) at $8.2 billion and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International at Jeddah, which is investing $8 billion.
Following these investments, Dubai World Central would be the region’s largest airport with capacity for 120 million passengers, followed by Qatar’s Doha International which is targeting a capacity of 93 million.
The research also looks at the fast growing cruise market and focuses on 12 major cruise lines that between them operate 86 ships in the region. The largest of these operators currently are Royal Caribbean International and Holland America with 21 and 14 ships respectively.  Eight of the cruise lines studied have plans for further investment – they expect to add at least 18 ships with a minimum investment of $7.84 billion.
The report is to be published in full at the Hotel Show 2008 which takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from June 8 to 10, 2008.