Middle East tourist arrivals set to surpass 100 million in 2022

Middle East tourist arrivals set to surpass 100 million in 2022

Region's tourist figures could hit 160 million by 2030

According to data released by Knight Frank and STR ahead of this month’s Future Hospitality Summit (FHS), the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector is set to reach – and potentially surpass – recorded pre-pandemic levels of more than 100 million tourist arrivals and an excess of US$270 billion in revenue contribution in 2022.

The pandemic undoubtedly cast uncertainty upon the hospitality landscape with hotel investment impacted over the past few years, but market sentiment has significantly improved and, given the GCC’s aggressive growth plans in tourism and hospitality, which are well-supported by its national airlines, the outlook for the sector is bright.

The independent real estate consultancy firm found that the region has all the positive indicators to reach the goal of 160 million tourists in 2030, driven by the region’s giga projects that will open up even more amazing tourism destinations and further boost travel and tourism.

Study reveals 600,000 hotel rooms in Middle East pipeline
The Future Hospitality Summit to debut in Dubai
Future Hospitality Summit confirms first 50 speakers

Saudi Arabia, which has US$110 billion worth of hotel projects planned for completion by 2030 and a total of 310,000 hotel keys under development, has one of the most ambitious tourism targets in the region with the goal of 100 million tourists by 2030.

STR senior director Middle East & Africa Philip Wooller said: “Hotel performance for the Middle East region is getting close to a full pre-pandemic recovery in 2022, which would be an outstanding outcome. Hotel rates are the main driver of RevPAR so far with occupancy also closing in on 2019 levels. 

Anticipation is high for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and the effect it will have on both national and regional hotel performance.


Taking place from 19 to 21 September, the Future Hospitality Summit will see more than 120 top-level speakers across 40 sessions in a range of different formats, including keynote presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

For more information, visit

Share article

View Comments