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The growth of the hotel market in Oman and its neighbors points to robust travel in the most stable of Middle East nations, despite challenges in other parts of the region.

Oman’s hotel sector is set to grow by more than 60% if all 4,613 rooms in the country’s total active pipeline open, according to new data.

STR Global said the sultanate was poised to grow the most in the Middle East and Africa (63.9%), with five other countries in the region set to expand by more than 30%.

Its latest data for January showed the Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline comprises 480 hotels totalling 118,023 rooms.

As well as Oman, STR Global said Saudi Arabia’s hotel market is expected to grow by 53.2%  with 27,783 rooms in its active pipeline.

Other Gulf nations forecast to see significant growth over the next few year, according to STR Global, are Qatar (up 39.6% to 6,205 rooms), the UAE (up 33.6% with 31,827 rooms), and Kuwait (up 33.5% to 2,069 rooms).

The expected growth in Oman comes as total passenger traffic through Muscat International Airport increased by 16 percent to more than 7.5 million in 2012 compared to the previous year.

Officials attributed the increase in traffic into Muscat International Airport to the introduction of new airlines operating in the sultanate including IndiGo, Ethiopian Airlines and United Airways of Bangladesh.

The Middle East/Africa hotel industry opened 68 new hotels with 15,735 rooms in 2012.

Top-end hotels again dominated the new-builds in the region’s tourism sector while economy hotels contributed only two properties.

© 2013 ITP Business Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Provided by an company. 

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