The Middle East travel industry was forecasted to rise to USD98 billion by 2017, from USD71.8 billion in 2014, according to Phocuswright. With an emerging middle class looking to travel both within the region and internationally, and an increase in inbound business, leisure travel and tourism, there is growing demand for mid-market and budget accommodations as well as a continued desire for upscale brands.
Shuja Zaidi, president, Equinox Group, said, “Currently, markets such as Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Mecca are undersupplied in
mid-market hotel accommodations, providing an opportunity for a strong hotel brand such as Choice to bring its portfolio to the market. We believe that the next wave of growth and expansion in our region belongs to the mid-market segment. To prepare for it, it was only natural that we partner up with one of the largest and most globally recognised brands with a portfolio that spans from mid- to upscale properties and can offer travellers what they need.”
The master development agreement is anticipated to deliver approximately 25 hotels and 8,000 hotel rooms for Choice’s portfolio in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by 2021.