Rotana launches ten hotels in the Middle East

The UAE based Rotana Hotels group will develop ten new hotels and 2500 rooms in the Middle East by 2006 and own a ten percent equity stake in one of its hotels.

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By  Shilpa Mathai Published  March 18, 2004

The UAE based Rotana Hotels group will develop ten new hotels and 2500 rooms in the Middle East by 2006 and, for the first time in its hotel management history, own a ten percent equity stake in one of its hotels. It is anticipated that the new investments, estimated to be around US$ 0.5 billion (AED 1.8 billion), will double Rotana’s current turnover. The hotel management company will also own a ten percent stake, estimated to be around US$ 544,000 in the Amwaj Rotana Resort, a 300-room property within the Jumeirah Beach Residence development slated to open in the summer of 2006. By 2006, the homegrown hotel chain will manage 27 hotels and 6,000 rooms, an addition of 2,500 rooms to the group’s existing portfolio of 17 hotels and 3,500 rooms. “Our regional expansion plan will kick off with the opening of the 400 unit Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites in Dubai at the end of this year,” said Selim El Zyr, president and CEO, Rotana Hotels. “This will be followed by two other projects in Dubai, the Rotana Villas, a 130 suites and studios development, owned by Al Jallaf Group and slated to open in fall 2005, and the world’s tallest hotel suites, the 380 metres Forex Rotana Suites, developed by the Abbco Group due to open in fall 2006.” The hotel company will also manage a 180 room and chalet property on the Al Aquah beach in Fujairah due to open in mid 2006. According to El Zyr, Rotana’s first hotel in Doha will have 300 rooms and 100 suites, connected to the Doha City Centre while in Kuwait, the group will manage a 200 suite property in the Fahaheel district for the Tamdeen group. As part of its pan Arab expansion strategy, Rotana will manage a 110-suite hotel in Damascus scheduled to open in June this year as well as the Raouché Rotana Suites in Beirut, scheduled to open in mid 2005. “Right now, the Middle East region attracts only about 3.5-4% of the annual global tourism arrivals. According to the World Tourism Organisation estimates, the fair share for this region should be about 10%. We need to triple the existing capacity of the region’s tourism industry and our expansion is in line with this estimate,” explained El Zyr. The group is also considering floating an IPO in an UAE stock market by 2007. “We have a number of new projects in the pipeline and are currently negotiating with investors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East,” said El Zyr.

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