Leading Ghotel management firm Rotana revealed plans to open 14 properties by the end of 2018 at the recently concluded World Travel Market in London.
We spoke to Omer Kaddouri, president and CEO of the hotel chain, for more. “We are on track for 100 hotels by 2020. Of course, there are naysayers, but I believe we can be quite close to achieving that target. We have 56 operating hotels now.”
Rotana celebrates turning 25 this year, and in the last 25 years, Rotana hotels have served above 225 million guests. “That’s about 1/6th the population of India,” jokes the CEO, to bring this number into perspective. “We are working on our logo as well, but the main news really is that we plan to open 14 hotels by 2018.”
Rotana will open six hotels in the UAE, three in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, two in Turkey and one Iran, Iraq and Tanzania by the end of 2018. In the order of their opening they are: Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi; Pearl Rotana, Abu Dhabi; Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai; Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai; Beach Arjaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi; Centro Olaya, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Centro Corniche, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Centro Salama, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Centro WestSide Istanbul, Turkey; WestSide Arjaan Istanbul by Rotana, Turkey; Johari Rotana, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Imam Reza Rayhaan by Rotana, Mashhad, Iran; Slemani Rotana, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq; and Al Jaddaf Rotana, Dubai.
“The Saadiyat project has been moved to January 2018, and there is a slight delay but we do believe in opening it right, rather than opening it in a rush. For us, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas is going to be a new challenge because with it we truly enter the high-end luxury domain, pitted against the likes of Park Hyatt.
“Come to think of it, Al Bandar Rotana, and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, on Dubai’s Creek will also be spectacular projects and we have already promised the owners that we will get them the highest RevPar in the neighbourhood within the second year of operations.”
Next year Omer Kaddouri will have completed 20 years with Rotana. He was recently awarded Hospitality CEO of the Year at CEO Middle East Awards 2017.
“New hotels are coming up everywhere and the question is – why should they hire Rotana and not a Hilton or Sheraton, for instance,” he says. "When you go to a store, you either buy a jacket off the rack or you buy something a bit more bespoke, tailormade. That’s a little bit how hiring Rotana is, compared to some of the other companies. We are more individual, we are present when owners need us .”
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