Demand for business segment hotels to see steady growth

 20 Jul 2017 - 1:03

Demand for business segment hotels to see steady growth

By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula

The demand for hotel rooms, especially for the business segment hotels preferred by frequent travellers, are expected to witness a steady increase in the coming years.
This additional demand will be largely driven by the accelerated pace in the ongoing economic diversification. With the implementation of the economic zones, industrial enclaves and warehousing complexes, more business travelers are expected to visit Qatar for exploring business  and investment opportunities, said an industry expert.  “Qatar’s economic fundamentals are strong. The economy is growing fast  in two parallel directions. On the one hand it is trying to achieve self-sufficiency in certain key economic activities by creating sustainable growth, and on the other, it is continuing to invest in energy sector to remain world leader in terms of supplying clean energy to the world,” Jaafar Ali Al Sarraf (pictured) told The Peninsula.
Jaafar, Board Member of Zukhrof Trading and Contracting company, was talking to this newspaper on the sidelines of an event recently where his company was  part of an agreement signing ceremony with Manateq, to develop two (4-Star) business hotels and three (3-4 Star) hotel apartment buildings at Ras Bufontas SEZ, at a whooping cost of QR488.5m. Highlighting the future growth  Qatar’s foreign trade in goods and services, Jaafar said: “As we know that different countries are endowed with different economic advantages, so the trade exchange will continue to happen and grow.”
He added: “The upcoming logistics city (Ras Bufontas) will provide strong arena for international business community to operate in Qatar and strengthen economic ties between different countries.”
Currently there are 22,800 hotel rooms and serviced apartment keys available in the country, in more than 120 establishments, including hotels and serviced apartments. This represents a 33 percent increase in supply of room keys since 2012.
According to a latest report on Qatar by  DTZ, a real estate advisory firm,  the first quarter of 2017 saw a number of new hotels arrive on the market, including The Town Hotel in Msheireb, and The Millenium Plaza in Al Sadd.
Of the current supply, 87 percent of hotel keys and more than 70 percent of establishments are categorised as either 4-Star or 5-Star.  On the occupancy rates and supply concerns especially with regard to the ongoing siege, Jaafar noted that the ongoing situation stresses the need for fostering and excelling in developing business with different partners, and having state-of-the-art infrastructure the one being developed in Ras Bufontas and other special economic zones (SEZ) in different parts of the country.
Even if the blockade by neighbouring states lasts long, it will not have any adverse impact on the future growth prospects, he said.
“We are focusing more on business development. The beauty of having 4-star hotels is that this segment caters to different needs of the market,” added Jaafar.
He reiterated that Qatar is a strong and resilient economy with abilities to react dynamically.