Rotana, the Abu Dhabi-based leading hotel management company, is embarking on a $750mn investment in the Middle East and Africa region this year with plans to open seven new hotels including another one in Qatar. The new five-star property to be opened in Qatar later this year will be Rotana’s second in the country.
The City Centre Rotana-Doha, part of the City Centre Doha shopping complex, will offer 400 luxurious modern rooms and suites, Club Rotana Executive floors, five food and beverage venues, a wide variety of meeting rooms in addition to a state-of-the-art bodylines health and fitness centre.
This year the hotel management group will also open its first properties in Bahrain and Jordan and expand its portfolio in the United Arab Emirates with four additional hotels. The expansion plans will see Rotana managing around 14,000 rooms across its properties by the end of 2012, and Rotana also expects a 6% occupancy rate growth next year across its portfolio of hotels in the region compared to 2011’s figures.
Recent figures from the Hotstats survey of full-service hotels by Hotels TRI Hospitality Consulting show a robust and growing Middle East hospitality sector. Abu Dhabi reported a surge in occupancy in October while hotels in Dubai were as full as they were in 2007.
Abu Dhabi registered the largest increase in occupancy in the region, growing 9.7 percentage points to 82.8% in October 2011 and moving closer to Dubai which saw occupancy increase to 87.3% during the month.
Rotana president and CEO Selim El Zyr (pictured) said: “The last year has seen the hospitality industry in the Middle East and Africa registering positive growth, despite several challenging economic and political factors. We have properties in Syria and Egypt, and while we have been affected by the unrest in both countries, we are hoping that the political situation will soon settle down.”
He said airlines from the UK and the traditional European feeder markets to Sharm and Hurghada are planning an increase to their flights as of December. We expect that as general business conditions improve in these countries and indeed right across the Middle East and Africa, so will the opportunities for hospitality, and Rotana is adding several new destinations to our offering – in Jordan, Oman and Bahrain,” El Zyr said.
“Despite the generally gloomy global outlook, Rotana is proud to be growing and expanding. We believe our growth is supported by our commitment to keep evolving our products in line with travel trends and guest preferences, and one of the key areas for growth that we are currently addressing is the mid-tier market, for which we developed the Centro Hotels by Rotana brand.”
Rotana will require more than 3,000 new employees to support its growth targets, which it said is a “welcome development” for an industry hit by substantial lay-offs as a result of the global downturn.
source: Gulf Times
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