Hotel Operators in Kuwait Protest Luxury Development Plans

kuwait_city

It's a rare destination that doesn't want high-end hotels, but Kuwait seems to have some legitimate claims against upcoming development: Kuwaiti hotel operators are protesting plans to develop a series of luxury VIP-only hotels, claiming the hotel sector is already suffering from low occupancy levels and the market cannot absorb an increase in supply, Hotelier Middle East is reporting.

The Kuwait Municipality has put forward a proposal to develop a series of luxury hotels aimed at VIP guests arriving in the Gulf state. Working with the private sector, the authorities are aiming to locate the so called ‘seven-star’ properties at the Fair Ground, Al-Salam Palace, Sabah Al-Salem University and Kuwait Airport.

The plan has been met with opposition from the Kuwait Hotel Owners Association, which claimed levels were already low and the arrival of such properties would impact those already operating in the market.

Ghazi Al-Nafisi, chairman of the KHOA, told the Kuwait Times that approximately ten new hotels are due to be built in Kuwait in the next three years, increasing the total number of rooms by nearly a third to around 10,000. He claimed hotel occupancy was already around 51 percent and the introduction of new properties could see levels drop to a low of 40 percent.

“Any new hotel coming to the market will definitely affect the existing hotels, as we are in a small country with little demand… I think that the planned hotels, which will be launched soon, deserve to be better promoted,” said Wassim Mahdi, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

 

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