Women-only accommodations to grow across Middle East and beyond


As hoteliers capitalize on the Middle East’s growing young female population, women-only hotels are opening up more reveals the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2009.

The concept of women-only hotels is an expansion of some operators, hoteliers, and other suppliers offering single-sex packages and products such as female floors in hotels and women-only tours.

The growing young and female population in the Middle East is encouraging suppliers to target this market with culturally-acceptable and tailored concepts. Saudi Arabia is leading the way with the first women-only hotel, Luthan Hotel & Spa.

Egypt and Iran are also key target markets for female-only concepts especially with women accounting for almost half of the total population in 2008. In destinations such as these, where cultures are conservative, women-only concepts are likely to appeal to Middle-Eastern women and westerners who want the additional reassurance, the World Travel Market Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, reveals.

The report predicts the concept could be broadened in appeal in less-conservative destinations by linking it to health and wellness and including the spa element. Additional opportunities also lie in medical tourism, as well as backpacking and adventure tourism for both regional tourists and westerners in destinations such as Oman, Yemen, Jordan, and Syria.

World Travel Market chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “It’s amazing to see new and innovative concepts rise up out of changing consumer trends. The women-only trend could really catch-on for many people who are traveling on business, looking for the health and wellness element or just want some time away from hectic lives balancing work and home lives.”

Euromonitor International Global Travel and Tourism Research manager Caroline Bremner said, “Saudi Arabia has 30 million domestic tourists with women more likely to travel internally because of the perception of it being risky to travel alone, as well as being frowned upon for religious and cultural reason.”