File photo: Guests at the reception desk of the Royal Meridien Hotel Dubai. Image Credit: GULF NEWS ARCHIVE

Dubai: New figures reveal that the Middle East has overtaken Europe in terms of the number of new hotel rooms in the pipeline.

It has more hotel rooms on the way than South America and Africa combined, according to a recently released report titled The Middle East Hotel Construction Overview.

The Middle East is set to add 238,963 new hotel rooms to its current supply, the majority of which will open over the next five years.

Comparatively, there are 214,743 guest rooms set to open in Europe, putting the Middle East ahead of the region — despite Europe having more new hotel builds in the pipeline.

Ray Tinston, portfolio director of The Hotel Show events, said in a statement: “This new report reveals the extent to which the room to project ratio for Middle Eastern hospitality projects is considerably higher than average.”

Hospitality in the Middle East is synonymous with luxury, he added, saying that “as five-star developments and mega-resorts continue to dominate its construction pipeline, it’s not surprising that this region has an extraordinary number of rooms in development, even higher than compared with regions with a larger amount of individual hotel projects.”

The UAE, which has 222 active projects amounting to 126,576 rooms, and Saudi Arabia, which has 143 projects and 55,810 rooms, are the two most active countries for hospitality development in the Middle East.