Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with hotels across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, is showcasing seven newly opened hotels in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as an incredible pipeline of seven upcoming properties at WTM London this month. These are scheduled for opening by the end of this year and in 2019, and are spread across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, and its home ground of the UAE.
Rotana also announced last month that industry veteran, president and chief executive, Omer Kaddouri will be stepping down from his role at the end of 2018, when he will hand over the helm to Guy Hutchinson, who will be acting president and CEO.
Kaddouri said: “As a strategic gathering of experts, industry stakeholders and professionals in the travel, tourism and hospitality businesses, the World Travel Market (WTM) London 2018 offers Rotana an excellent global platform to highlight its milestones, growing portfolio of world-class offerings, and robust expansion plans. Following a year of sustained performance across growth indicators and continued expansion, we are gearing up for a more promising 2019, which will be complemented by the opening of our seven new hotels in key markets. We remain committed to continuing to deliver exceptional guest experiences, leveraging the insights gained from this event and building on the success of our strong portfolio of hotels.”
To cement its pre-eminent position in the UAE’s hospitality market, Rotana opened four properties in 2018. The company reached a new milestone when it soft-opened its flagship property Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, a luxurious five-star hotel that features 327 rooms and suites, in addition to 13 private beach villas, in Abu Dhabi. The Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, which opened in March added another 315 keys to the company’s inventory in the capital city.
Further strengthening its foothold in Dubai’s thriving tourism and hospitality sector, Rotana continued its expansion in the emirate with the opening of the modern, architecturally-striking five-star hotel Al Bandar Rotana (190 keys), the hotel apartment complex Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana (90 keys). In addition, Rotana opened 189-room Centro Salama in Jeddah under the brand ‘Centro by Rotana’ in September.
In line with its long-term growth strategy, Rotana opened three new global sales offices in Paris, Milan and Amsterdam in July to drive business from these key markets. Complementing the company’s existing offices in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany, Russia, the UAE and the United Kingdom, the new offices are already helping Rotana grow its client base in those markets.
Saudi Arabia continues to remain Rotana’s key focus market for expansion, with three properties scheduled to open in different cities of the Kingdom in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first and second quarters of 2019. As part of its plans to tap new markets, the company will launch two new properties in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in addition to opening hotels in Iraq and the UAE with the aim of further deepening its presence in these markets.
Last month, Rotana appointed Tom Stevens as the new area general manager responsible for Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo to steer and oversee the company’s strategic agenda in these areas. “The company currently employs four area vice presidents and/or general managers, each of whom is dedicated to overseeing operations within specific geographies,” Stevens tells TTN. “There are currently four properties in the pipeline for these countries. In Saudi Arabia, we have Centro Corniche in Al Khobar, Centro Olaya in Riyadh and Dana Rayhaan by Rotana in Dammam. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, we are opening Johari Rotana in Dar Es Salaam. All are scheduled to be operational by the middle of next year, and together will add a combined total of 950 room keys to our inventory.”
The focus of Stevens’s new role is mostly strategic, he tells us. “I will be concentrating on preparing an effective roadmap to ensure Rotana’s continued success in these key markets. In addition to setting the long and short-term financial objectives for each property, my main goal is to cultivate an operating environment that brings our guests satisfaction by delivering on the Rotana promise of ‘Treasured Time’ across all hotels.”
The countries Rotana operates in are quite varied in their geography and spread out, but Stevens says this is hardly a challenge in this day and age. “I have prepared a schedule to travel to each of the countries within my territory and visit all the hotels throughout the year. Having said that, thanks to modern technology, there are no boundaries to when and how we can connect! I’m looking forward to meeting the teams at each property and exploring the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
*Meet Rotana Hotel Management at ME200, ME300
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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