What do leading hoteliers say about investing in MENA hotels: Hyatt’s Kurt Straub

What do leading hoteliers say about investing in MENA hotels: Hyatt’s Kurt Straub

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Kurt Straub, Vice President of Operations – Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts

In order to assess hotels’ performance in the MENA region, we have systems and processes in place t and to also allow us to work closely with our hotel teams. In addition to that, we have recently implemented score cards that allow hotels to achieve their long term goals. We have built a notable reputation in the market spanning more than 30 years; gained from a deep rooted understanding and commitment to the region. We are not new nor do we want to be the biggest hotel chain – we want to grow with intent – this is always something we keep in mind when partnering with owners. In this market particularly, it is key to work with those who know and understand the intricate workings and nuances. We pride ourselves on the strength of our relationships with our developers and owners.  Since we prefer to grow with intent, it is crucial for us to communicate with our owners frequently, strengthen our relationships, and in fact enjoy the personal interactions. We encourage open conversations to discuss their expectations and how we can achieve our goals together. Open conversations are also key when it comes to achieving common goals and this includes achieving the best ROI. This can even include the simplest ideas such as how to utilize our extensive network of partners where we may have an access to the same goods with better prices or with multi property owners to find out ways to have synergies or simple plans for bulk purchases. The Middle East as a whole is a vital market for us, however in the coming years we can note KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE as key drivers in our expansion plans. Given the diversification of consumers in the region, we have found success across a number of brands in our portfolio since 1980 when the first Hyatt property opened in Dubai. We currently operate 13 full service and three select service brands (July 2017) and have recently seen a shift in market trends allowing for a greater need of select services, as well as the introduction of more lifestyle-driven preferences. With this in mind, we are set to introduce our mid-market propositions to the KSA and increase our lifestyle brand presence in the UAE with the introduction of both Andaz and Hyatt Centric before 2019. We have a steadfast growth plan across the entire region. Presently, we’re ensuring a resolute and resourceful team is in place to address the imminent expansion. Before 2019 we are set to introduce three new Hyatt brands to the Middle East and by 2022 we will double our portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa.

Hyatt’s regional pipeline:

  • Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort, Jordan – late  2018 – 286 Keys
  • Hyatt House Jeddah, Sari Street, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – late 2018 – 104 Keys
  • Hyatt Place Dubai, Wasl District, United Arab Emirates – early 2019 – 307 Keys
  • Park Hyatt Doha, The State of Qatar – summer 2019 – 187 Keys
  • Hyatt Centric Dubai Palm, United Arab Emirates – summer 2019 – 334 Keys
  • Hyatt Place Dubai Al Mina, United Arab Emirates – summer 2019 – 288 Keys
  • Hyatt Centric West Bay Doha, The State of Qatar – late 2019 – 320 Keys
  • Grand Hyatt Kuwait City, The State of Kuwait – early 2020 – 302 Keys
  • Hyatt Place Riyadh KAFD, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – late 2020 – 150 Keys
  • Hyatt House Riyadh KAFD, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – late 2020 – 96 Keys.
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