Tuesday, October 26, 2021

UAE’s Rotana looking to launch hotel conversion brand

President and CEO Guy Hutchinson makes announcement while speaking at the AHIC conference in Dubai

Rotana has approximately 30 hotels across the UAE, with other properties in Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain and other markets.

UAE hotel group Rotana has revealed plans to launch its own hotel conversion brand.

President and CEO Guy Hutchinson told our sister title Hotelier Middle East that the company is on the cusp of joining global hotel majors IHG, Wyndham and Radisson in the trend.

Speaking at the Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, he said: “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but a conversion brand is at the front of our mind. We’ll be able to say more in a few weeks’ time.

Rotana has approximately 30 hotels across the UAE, with other properties in Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain and other markets. Even with the expansion possibilities, a conversion brand would offer, Hutchinson (pictured below) remains committed to staying regionally focused.

He said: “Our objective is not to have 5,000 hotels or 1,000,000 rooms, our goal is to dominate in specific markets and do a fantastic job in those markets. Our conversion brand will greatly support this.”

He went on to stress the importance of cooperation in the region and a strong support network. Spurred on by the pandemic, he said: “AHIC is all about reconnection. That is particularly important in hospitality and in this region where a lot of business is built on trust. We haven’t seen some of our partners for 18 months, so to see them face to face is really important. We’re also meeting new investment partners [at AHIC].

“I think in communities like Dubai, there’s a lot of talk about cohesiveness in the industry. But pre-pandemic, that wasn’t really there. Everyone had their own agendas and their own plans. We didn’t, I think, spend enough time talking about strength across industry.

“The pandemic gave us a wake-up call. The growth in Dubai [hospitality] has really been fuelled thanks to these tight-knit communities. We’ve had a really strong lesson on the importance of this.”

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