Total tourism and leisure industry deals for April of this year worth USD4,86 billion were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s deals database.
Following the recent earning results of Airbus for quarter one (Q1) of this year, Nicolas Jouan, aerospace and defence analyst, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offered his view on Airbus’s strategy:
Saudi Arabia is without question, the most important market in the Middle East. As the region’s biggest economy and home of Islam’s most important sites, the Kingdom dominates the regional landscape.
The events in March provide a reminder, if one was needed, that Riyadh is also a key actor on the global stage, and that it is no longer content to operate quietly in the backroom of global politics, said GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Richard Thompson, editorial director, GlobalData. Commented, “Despite decades of diversification initiatives, the Saudi economy remains dependent on government spending and on oil. That is changing. The launch in April 2016 of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform agenda set a new path for a more diversified, private sector-led economy.”
In October 2017, Riyadh unveiled a series of gigaprojects, including the USD500 billion Neom future city, to drive investment and business opportunities. In late 2019, a new round of reforms opened up the tourism market. Critical to the vision are the country’s USD1,4 trillion of major projects planned or under construction. Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest projects market in the region, nearly double the size of the next largest market, the UAE.
Thompson continued by saying, “The Kingdom is home to almost half of all projects planned in the GCC. But the collapse in global economic activity caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and the subsequent crash in oil prices, has raised questions about the prospects for Vison 2030 and the Saudi projects sector. In the short-to-medium term, Riyadh’s diversification drive will be severely disrupted. The crisis has introduced urgent economic and health challenges at home and abroad that must take priority.”
Using this current downtime to prepare future operations for a post-COVID-19 business environment is a must for lodging companies, said GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Ralph Hollister, travel and Tourism analyst, GlobalData, commented, “It has become a necessity for hotel companies to furlough staff, halt expansion plans and impose pay cuts on employees. However, it is important that hotels also incorporate long-term, forward-thinking strategies that address how operational efficiency can be achieved when the impact of COVID-19 lessens.”
Upskilling remaining team members could be invaluable, teaching staff a range of different skills involving different operations within a hotel will increase their skillset, whilst allowing the hotel to fill a range of positions if other staff members are still off work due to COVID-19. This will allow service quality levels to be maintained which is highly beneficial for a hotels image.
Hollister continued by saying: “Companies could also re-evaluate services and policies. Management should take the time to look at where the company has received negative feedback in the past and see if they can rectify it to enhance its reputation for the future.”
The move by Abu Dhabi’s Executive Committee to form an infrastructure committee to oversee the development and operation of infrastructure in the emirate is an important step at a critical time for the construction sector, said GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The Dubai Government’s decision to put future projects on hold is unsurprising as COVID-19 weighs down on global economies.
While the government will consider reining in spending a necessary step, the move will deepen the cracks in the local construction sector, which has been operating in a low-margin and high-risk environment for several years, said GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Neha Bhatia, construction and infrastructure editor, GlobalData, commented; “A large number of projects in Dubai, as well as the wider Middle East, typically exceed the original awarded contract value for reasons such as design changes and contractual disputes. With a zero-tolerance approach to cost overruns, local contractors now face the prospect of making a loss on their ongoing projects.”
Bhatia added, “While construction is one of the sectors exempted from the emirate’s 24-hour restrictions on outdoor movement, contractors are concerned that onsite works will slow down as the pandemic continues to spread regionally. Precautionary measures such as those imposed on worker transportation are already reducing onsite productivity.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the downward trends that were expected in Dubai’s post-Expo 2020 real estate market. Local development giant Emaar Properties has suspended work on projects in Downtown Dubai, Dubai South and Dubai Creek Harbour, as well as enforced salary cuts at all levels to mitigate the financial risks brought on by the virus.
The US tourism and leisure industry saw a drop of 18,9 percent in overall deal activity during February, when compared with the last 12-month average, according to GlobalData’s deals database.
A total 215 deals were announced in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region during the week ended March, 29, which is a decrease of 18,6 percent over 264 deals announced during the previous week, according to GlobalData’s deals database.
Total tourism and leisure industry deals for February worth USD10,41 billion were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s deals database.