The country’s hospitality sector is expected to witness a significant boom by the end of the year thanks to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2020.
Hotels and apartments in Qatar have documented a robust growth in the last year, according to new statistics.
A recent report by Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that the hotels of all categories have witnessed an increase of around 56% in occupancy in February in 2022 compared to the same time last year.
The demand in occupancy rate has also dramatically increased the revenue per available room, enhancing the hospitality sector just months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, which is expected to attract more than 1 million visitors to the country.
Two and one-star hotels have witnessed the highest occupancy rate in February 2022 thanks to the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, including the removal of quarantine measures for visitors and guests from several countries. The surge marked 97% in February, in comparison to 78% in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, three star hotels have seen their occupancy rate soar to 96% in February 2022 from 82% in the same period in 2021. Four star hotels have also witnessed an increase to 66% in the same year.
Five star hotels, however, witnessed the least decrease, given their cost. The occupancy rate percentage stood at 49% in the review period, PSA revealed.
As for deluxe hotel apartments and standard hotel apartments, the occupancy rates this year marked 53% and 83% respectively.
The spike in demand has also echoed a rise in revenue per available room in various hotels around the nation. The revenue reports help the hotel industry to measure the overall success of their hotel.
For five-star hotels, the revenue per available room increased to 280 QAR in February 2022, while the four stars rose to 167 QAR, three stars 197 QAR, and two and one-star hotels settled at 187 QAR.
In 2021, the average room rate for deluxe and standard hotel apartments was 300 QAR and 179 QAR in February. That number rose to around 371 QAR and 235 QAR respectively the following year.
The average room rate for five-star hotel rooms has gone up to 569 QAR, while the four star hotels reached 255 QAR.
Overall, the hotel and hotel apartments’ average room rate hit 420 QAR in February 2022, compared to 378 QAR last year, the report added.
How much is too much?
Organiser’s in Qatar have been facing fierce criticism online, with fan angry at outrageous accommodation prices that are turning World Cup fans away.
In response, in an interview with SunSport, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al-Khater reassured fans that the tournament will be “as affordable as possible for everyone.”
Prices, however, remain on the rise, with authorities failing to intervene and control the increase despite the growing demand.
Is it enough?
The hospitality sector in Qatar has proven its resilience in the past year building up to the World Cup. In 2021, an estimate of 1,980 room keys from eight hospitality properties was added to cater to the growing demand.
In addition, two new grand hotels have opened their doors to the public in the last quarter of 2021. The Steigenberger Hotel launched with 206 rooms and the Zulal Wellness Resort opened with 180 rooms.
By 2023, the country is expected to have 15,800 hotel keys.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) also revealed in a statement that available rooms for World Cup fans will reach 130,000. The committee said that such expansion is a testament to the readiness of Qatar’s accommodation measures and hosting efforts.
The available accommodations entail hotel rooms, floating hotels, villas, apartments, and fan villages. Around 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas will be available, as well as approximately 4,000 rooms on two cruise ships.