There were 514 hotels with 147,746 rooms under contract in the Middle East in December 2015, according to a report from STR Global, a global research firm.

The rooms under contract in the region grew 38.7 per cent and compared to December 2014.

The number of rooms under construction last month reached 80,999 in 248 hotels, up 51.5 per cent year-on-year.

Among the key markets in the Middle East and Africa, Makkah, Saudi Arabia had the largest number of rooms under construction with 21,068 rooms in 13 hotels. This was followed by Dubai, UAE (20,260 rooms in 63 hotels); Doha, Qatar (6,926 rooms in 29 hotels); and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (6,595 rooms in 29 hotels).

Dubai plans to add 20,000 new hotel rooms by the end of this year, according to the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The emirate aims to have 140,000-160,000 hotel rooms by 2020, when it expects to welcome 20 million visitors.

Meanwhile, the Northern Africa and Southern Africa regions saw 60,713 rooms under contract in December, a growth of 51 per cent year-on-year, and 27,790 rooms under construction in 155 hotels, up 35.2 per cent, as per the STR Global report.