Alwaleed brings Mövenpick to Dubai

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has opened its first property in the UAE in Dubai by taking over the former Holiday Inn hotel in Bur Dubai.

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By  Shilpa Mathai Published  July 29, 2003

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has opened its first property in the UAE in Dubai by taking over the former Holiday Inn hotel in Bur Dubai.

Hotelier Middle East understands that Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, has bought 51% of the hotel while Saudi businessman Abdul Aziz Al Shiha now owns 49%. Al Shiha invested Dhs 200 million in the 232-room property and opened the hotel a day after the September 11 attacks in the USA. The value of Alwaleed's investment in the hotel is unknown.

The hotel is currently being re-branded as a Mövenpick. Thomas Tapken, general manager of the new Mövenpick Bur Dubai hotel said, “We are very excited at opening our first property in Dubai two years after the Mövenpick chain expanded into the Middle East. We are targeting the corporate and MICE segment through this property; we do not think it necessary to reinvest in the property and are only carrying out soft branding changes like changes in the décor and service standards right now.”

According to Tapken, this property has all the essentials to be developed into a top-notch hotel. “It offers value for money and has a convenient location. But it has to come into the limelight and once the Mövenpick standards are in place, I am sure we can do that. The F & B offerings have to be turned around as well as other aspects that were missing earlier.”

Mövenpick Hotel & Resorts took over the property fully staffed – intensive staff training is now underway to put the Mövenpick culture in place.

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