The GCC hospitality sector is grappling with a dearth of skilled professionals, with a projected need for over 90,000 workers by 2026. Citing a Colliers report, Lokesh Singhania, Director at Alpen Capital, highlighted that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be the key markets, requiring 82,000 skilled professionals in the hospitality sector by 2026. During the unveiling of the GCC Hospitality Industry Report, Singhania emphasized the need for proactive steps like investing in training and educational programs to address the skilled labor shortage. Rohit Walia, Executive Chairman and CEO of Alpen Capital, noted that the industry is struggling with a lack of skilled workers and requires assistance in recruiting and retaining well-trained professionals across various roles, from management to service staff. He also mentioned that increasing competition is putting pressure on existing infrastructure, resources, and market positioning. According to Alpen Capital’s 2024 GCC Hospitality Industry Report, the shortage of skilled workers poses a significant challenge to the sector's growth, affecting its ability to hire and keep trained professionals. The report also forecasts that GCC countries will continue to host major international events, such as the Formula One Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2024 and the Fifa World Cup 203472, alongside significant infrastructure investments including airport expansions and luxury hotel constructions, which will collectively support the region’s ambitious hospitality sector goals. The sector is expected to grow at a rate of 7.5% between 2023 and 2028, reaching an estimated $48.1 billion by 2028. The UAE’s hospitality market is projected to grow at 6.9% annually, reaching $10 billion by 2028, driven by its appeal as a hub for both leisure and business tourism. The UAE aims to attract 40 million hotel guests annually and increase tourism’s GDP contribution to $122.6 billion by 2031, supported by initiatives like multiple-entry visas for Indians and a thriving MICE industry. International tourist arrivals in the UAE are expected to rise by 5% to reach 30.4 million in 2028, with a forecasted increase in occupancy rate to 78.7% and an average daily rate of $161.1 by 2028.