Le Meridien takes on the hotel cartel in Kuwait

The international hotel chain sets its own prices for its property in Kuwait and challenges prices set by the local cartel.

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By  Shilpa Mathai Published  June 15, 2003

Le Meridien has set its own room rates for its properties in Kuwait, a market where the Kuwait Hotel Owners’ Association (KHOA) controls prices. Le Meridien Kuwait’s opening rates of $150 (KD45) has created ripples in the country where average five star room rates hover around $215.

“Yes, we have created a stir by setting a pricing structure that is outside the KHOA, but we are in this business to service customers, and we believe that opening rates of $150 are competitive and suit our target business travellers. These rates allow us to be extremely competitive in the marketplace, yet offer the premium Meridien levels of service. By operating outside of Kuwait’s self-imposed cartel, we have the freedom to really service our target markets,” said Hannes Yaghi of Le Meridien Kuwait.

The company is developing six new projects, or a basket of hotels, over three years in Kuwait including almost 450 hotel rooms and the country’s first conference centre. The first property under development is the Ritz Kuwait, which is being re-branded as Le Meridien Kuwait following a nine-month renovation. The Le Meridien Art + Tech hotel is scheduled to open in Kuwait in the last quarter of 2003.

“We are not afraid to be aggressive in an already competitive marketplace, which we see as opening up by the day,” said Yaghi.

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