Quarterly Report Qatar Q1 2023: Hospitality Market Overview
Boost in tourist arrival numbers in January and February supports the expanding hotel sector
The supply of hotel rooms has continued to increase in Qatar over the first three months of 2023, with more than 700 keys added to the market between January and March. This followed an unprecedented boost in room numbers in 2022, when more than 7,000 hotel keys were delivered. The total supply in March is approx. 38,500, which reflects an increase of more than 30% in 15 months. New hotels to launch in recent months include The Velero in Lusail, Mina Hotel and Residences in Doha Port, and the Grand Lux in Al Sadd.
Official National Tourism Council (NTC) statistics for hotel performance in 2022 have yet to be released; however, the Planning and Statistics Authority has made performance indicators available for the sector. The first nine months of the year saw average occupancy fall from 63% to 55% compared to the previous year, despite increasing tourist arrivals. This can be explained mainly by the significant increase in supply throughout the year.
Perhaps surprisingly, hotel occupancy for November and December did not see the expected increase from World Cup visitors. While Average Daily Rates increased four-fold, November’s occupancy rate was just 56%, increasing to 61% in December. C&W understands that some of the vacancy is due to most visitors securing accommodation in residential properties ahead of the late release of unused hotel rooms that had initially been reserved for the World Cup.
Following a spike in hotel revenue metrics at the end of last year, PSA statistics for January and February show that Average Daily Rates returned to the levels seen in Q1 2022. The overall Average Daily Rates for January and February were QAR 424 and QAR 433, respectively, reflecting RevPARs of QAR 200 and QAR 247
The recent increase in supply will place pressure on occupancy rates throughout 2023. According to the Planning and Statistics Authority, however, there has been a substantial year-on-year rise in tourist arrivals to Qatar in January and February. Year-todate figures indicate a 348% increase in visitor arrivals to Qatar compared to 2022, with approx. 40% of tourists coming from other GCC countries. The recent rise in arrivals provides encouraging signs for growth in the tourism sector, which will be required to support the expansion of the hotel real estate market. In addition, Qatar hopes to utilise the success of the FIFA World Cup and associated tourist infrastructure projects to increase annual visitor numbers to six million by 2030.
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