Tribune News Network Doha In a sign of growing optimism in Qatar’s tourism industry, the hospitality sector is all set to add around 5,000 more hotel rooms this year to take the total tally to 31,000.
The figures, released by regional consulting firm ValuStrat, attest to the success of the government’s robust measures to boost the tourism revenue.
In August this year, the government allowed visa-free entries to nationalities from 80 countries and rolled out a host of outreach programmes to encourage tourist arrivals from countries such as China.
Giving the break-up of numbers, ValuStrat said the highest number of rooms will be added by the Minor Hotel Group, which is building two properties in Doha and one in Al Wakrah. The projects will be completed this year and add 350 more rooms.
Likewise, more rooms will be added by upcoming projects including the Salwa Resort (next to Aqua Park), Grand Mercure Hotel, Zulal Wellness Resort, Ezdan Palace, M Gallary Boutique Hotel, Panaroma Residences and Suites and Dusit Hotel and Suites.
The luxury waterpark and four-star hotel launched by Katara Hospitality in Qetaifan Island Lusail will be complete by 2020. On the residential market, the report said the supply projections for 2018 have been adjusted upwards to 8,800 units due to delayed deliveries from 2017.
“Rents in Doha are expected to witness further corrections due to increasing number of project handovers,” the report added.
On office space, the report noted that increased availability in Lusail will continue to depress rental rates, unless there is an uptick in demand or a large number of users in secondary locations move to occupy offices in Lusail.
The report, quoting a World Bank projection, said the country’s population would grow to 2.69 million in 2018 and real GDP will grow by 3.1 percent.
“Inflation rate is estimated to remain modest and current account deficit is expected to reduce on the back of increased hydrocarbon revenues, while oil prices are expected to increase to $56 per barrel,” the report said.
The 2018 budget, it said, has earmarked substantial amounts to projects related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and areas such as food security, infrastructure, SMEs, tourism and free zones.