Qatar’s keen commitment to diversifying its economy, and positioning itself as a world-class touristic hub in the lead up to realizing the National Vision 2030, is translating into a steadily growing hospitality sector.
Guided by its National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, Qatar is planning to invest $45bn in tourism projects over the next 14 years with eyes set on increasing overall annual arrivals to 7 million by 2030.
Qatar is the fastest growing destination within the region in terms of visitor arrivals, averaging 11.5% growth over the past 5 years. With the recent introduction of a 96-hour free visa scheme for travelers transiting in the country, the number of tourists is consequently projected to increase, giving the hospitality and HORECA sectors a further boost.
The Qatar Tourism Authority projects the tourism sector’s total contribution to the country’s total economy will reach 5.2% by 2030, and up to 9.7% of the country’s non-hydrocarbon economy.
Qatar’s winning bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 supercharged a country-wide upsurge of massive infrastructure development, including an unprecedented demand for 60,000 hotel rooms to accommodate the anticipated influx of fans in time for the tournament.
A recent report by DTZ Qatar revealed that the supply of hotel rooms and hotel apartments in Qatar surpassed 20,700 in 2016 following an outpour of hotel openings, leading to an increased supply of keys by 30% since 2014.
The report also indicated that more than 26,000 hotel rooms and hotel apartments, in 69 buildings, are currently at various stages of construction in Qatar. Upon completion, this will increase overall supply to more than 47,000 rooms.
Qatar’s Food and Beverage sector is poised for steady growth, triggered by a customer base with a high purchasing power and increasing high-income expatriate population.
According to a recent report by BMI, the country’s F&B sector benefits from a resilient business environment, well-developed premiumization channels and a wealthy consumer base.
The research firm predicts the mineral water segment will remain one of the best performing categories over the coming years. Also, the demand for organic food is steadily increasing in the country as the food-processing industry becomes more segmented.
-BMI forecasts food sales in local currency to witness a compound annual growth rate of 14.4% in the upcoming years leading to 2020.
-BMI also projects the share of private consumption in the economy (17.5% in 2015) to rise over the coming decade as the economy continues to diversify away from the hydrocarbon sector.
The government’s efforts for diversifying the economy and reducing reliance on the oil and gas sector, open doors for a multitude of private and foreign investment opportunities in Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon sectors, including F&B and Retail Franchising.
According to a recent DTZ Qatar report, there are currently 11 new retail malls under construction throughout Doha and its vicinities, which will increase the overall supply of accommodation in retail malls to 1.85 million sqm, representing an increase of almost 200% in current supply.
The report also identified an increased rental activity on The Pearl-Qatar in Q3 2016, with occupier demand being dominated by Food & Beverage outlets, where some tenants are currently carrying out fit-outs in Porto Arabia, following a highly successful launch of Medina Central.