The Abu Dhabi-based hospitality company, Rotana, increases its presence as part of its expansion goal to reach 100 properties.
In Gulf markets, political changes are encouraging larger visitor numbers as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have begun to implement policies that are increasing foreign interest in the countries.
“No country has to be the same as another; Saudi Arabia doesn’t need to be like Dubai. But in terms of policies and openness it is something that doesn’t hurt any country,” according to Omer Kaddouri, President and CEO of Rotana Hotels.
By the end of 2018 Rotana will have seven hotels operating in Saudi Arabia, with three to four more opening by 2020.
“It has always been our dream to be a big player in the Saudi Arabian hospitality industry, but by next year we can probably say that we are one of the bigger players,” Kaddouri also declared.
In the United Arab Emirates Rotana has opened two new properties on the north shore of the Dubai Creek, Al Bandar Rotana and the Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, which features fully furnished apartments for extended stays. Omer Kaddouri says that the mix of leisure and business accommodations are particularly well suited to cities like Dubai, which serve as hubs of commerce, but also have a variety of attractions.
“A good 50% of people who go to Dubai for business usually tack on a couple of days because there is so much to do and see,” he said. “I think a business customer is always happy to stay in a hotel that is more like a leisure hotel, because there is often time when they are not doing business (…)”
Rotana highlighted its strong inventory of operational properties and upcoming hotels. With a pipeline of 50 hotels and 12.769 rooms in 2017, the company continues to pursue its expansion plans. In the UAE alone, it has 5,626 keys under various stages of development.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, inaugurated in March 2018, is situated on Saadiyat Beach and features 354 luxurious rooms and 13 private beach villas, will be the 16th Rotana property to open in the UAE capital.
By 2018, the property that will open before the end of the first quarter of 2018 is:
- Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi (315 rooms)
Hotels to be launched in the second quarter of 2018 include:
- Centro WestSide, Istanbul, Turkey (152 rooms)
- WestSide Arjaan, Istanbul, Turkey (153 rooms)
- Centro Salama Jeddah (189 rooms)
- Johari Rotana, Dar Es Salaam (256 rooms)
Rotana will open in the third and fourth quarters of 2018:
- Beach Arjaan by Rotana, Mashhad, Iran (272 rooms)
- Al Jaddaf Rotana, Dubai (338 rooms)
Rotana Hotels has seen a steady growth in the number of European travelers, and is cementing its position with new properties and 1.675 keys under development.
“Our expansion plan is mainly focused on the Gulf countries and the Middle East where we are based,” says Omer Kaddouri. “We are also moving into Africa. We are opening a five star hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this year, it will be our second after Kinshasa, in Congo.”