Projects currently under construction stand at 359 projects/117,274 rooms, down slightly from the peak projects and rooms count set in Q2 of this year. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are down 41 percent by projects and 37 percent by rooms YOY to end the third quarter at 85 projects/20,753 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage are at 135 projects/30,015 rooms. Additionally, in the third quarter, the Middle East opened only 10 new hotels accounting for 1,779 rooms.
Countries with the most projects in the construction pipeline are Saudi Arabia with 204 projects/69,743 rooms and the UAE with 185 projects/54,533 rooms. Following distantly is Egypt with a record 58 projects/14,610 rooms, then Qatar with 56 projects/14,286 rooms, and Oman with 33 projects/6,615 rooms. Dubai continues to lead the construction pipeline in the UAE with 146 projects/44,557 rooms.
44 percent of the projects in the construction pipeline In the Middle East are found within these five cities: the Provincial region with 65 projects/13,852 rooms; Riyadh with 58 projects/11,796 rooms; Doha, Qatar with 49 projects/11,982 rooms; Jeddah with 48 projects/10,157 rooms; and Makkah with 33 projects/33,938 rooms.
46 percent of the projects in the pipeline in the Middle East belong to these leading franchise companies at the end of the third quarter: Hilton Worldwide with 95 projects/26,559 rooms, followed by Marriott International with 90 projects having 23,808 rooms. Next is Accor with 82 projects/24,724 rooms.