Published on : Thursday, March 14, 2019
The new hotels will come up in the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) region, Africa and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To quote Hutchinson, “This year, we opened one hotel in Babylon in Baghdad. In the next 18 to 20 months, we will open another 13 hotels across the region including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and in Dar es Salaam in Africa.”
Rotana currently manages a portfolio of over 100 properties throughout the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey.
About Saudi Arabia Hutchinson said, “Saudi Arabia and the whole market [are] really underserved, with 65,000 rooms across the whole country [and] with 35,000 of those in Makkah alone. There is a lot of activity in Saudi Arabia and it is high focus market for us.”
Saudi Arabia is now in its path to open its economy to attract more foreign direct investment for boosting various sectors including tourism and entertainment as part of its Vision 2030. The Kingdom is also planning to issue special event visas within 24 hours to increase visitor numbers to the country.
Currently, Rotana has three hotels in Riyadh and two in Jeddah. A third hotel is expected to open in Jeddah soon, with two more coming up in Eastern Province in Al Khobar and Dammam.
The Abu Dhabi-based hotel group is also planning new hotels in Syria and Iraq as part of the company’s regional expansion plans.
In Iraq, Rotana opened a property in Arbil last year, taking their total number of hotels to two in northern Iraq. There are also plans to star a hotel in Basra and other parts of the country.
“Abu Dhabi has had a tremendous first quarter with support from infrastructure and support from the government. Lot of events like Idex [the International Defence Exhibition], now special Olympics and Asian football cup in January did wonders for the industry,” Hutchinson said.