Rotana confident about Sharm expansion

Regional hotel chain, Rotana Hotels, Resorts & Suites has opened a third property in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  October 2, 2005

Regional hotel chain, Rotana Hotels, Resorts & Suites has opened a third property in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa. The five-star property opened at the end of the summer, and despite events in Sharm El Sheikh over the summer season, the property has enjoyed relatively high occupancy, with hotel management confident of success. “Sharm El Sheikh has (and relies on) huge tourism potential while also being a fascinating destination. Even with the recent unfortunate incidents, we have opened the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa with 65% occupancy and very little booking cancellations,” Jean-Marie Grouard, general manager, Grand Rotana Resort & Spa, told Hotelier Middle East. “The major tourist attraction in Sharm El Sheikh, Na’ama Bay, is still full of tourists and the buzz has not really stopped. Despite this, we will go out of our way to help quell any doubts visitors may have by arranging press visits, familiarization trips and various campaigns. Very quickly, Sharm El Sheikh will return to previous confidence levels among international travellers and we are naturally very optimistic. Rotana already runs three resorts in Egypt, two in Sharm El Sheikh and one in Hurghada, but the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa is the first five-star spa resort property in the company’s portfolio. “Egypt is an enormous market. The Grand Rotana Resort & Spa is the first five-star resort property and will set the pace for Rotana’s expansion in Egypt,” Grouard said. The 559-room resort is targeting the leisure market, with a host of facilities geared towards families. The property has its own 450m stretch of private beach, and a 3,600m² swimming pool, which is as large as three Olympic sized pools. It also offers 45 club rooms and nine villas with four and five bedrooms. “We anticipate that 90% of our guests will be Europeans from almost every European country. It will be a deliberate strategy to diversify the origin of our guests. The main markets will be the UK, Russia, Italy, and to a lesser extent, Germany and Northern Europe. However, we also anticipate an additional 10% to come from local Egyptian and pan-Arab markets. “We are targeting the leisure and MICE organisers. The European travel operators are our main medium through contractual deals, in addition to GDS and EDS. We will also pursue the European and pan-Arab incentive houses, not only because Sharm El Sheikh is an attractive destination for this market, but also because the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa is well equipped with meeting and banquet rooms,” Grouard explained. Rotana has a portfolio of 30 properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, out of which 17 are in operation. Rotana’s strategic aim is to have a property located within every key city in the Middle East.

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