Rotana’s Omer Kaddouri reveals his key focus markets

Rotana’s Omer Kaddouri reveals his key focus markets


Omer Kaddouri, President and CEO, Rotana

Geopolitical shifts taking place around the world, as well as economic challenges across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey have had an impact on the travel and tourism sector. However, the region continues to maintain its position as a well-rounded destination with something to suit all visitors, owing to its rich variety of cultural venues, historical sites and modern attractions. Therefore, despite challenges facing the hospitality sector in the region, it maintained its growth in 2018 owing to a number of important factors including a steady stream of efforts from the regional governments to drive tourism and attract visitors from source markets around the world. Moreover, with its fast-growing youth population and a rising disposable income of the people, the region has become a magnet for investments. This, combined with the massive public spending on new commercial, tourism, and entertainment projects and those underway, such as the EXPO 2020, 2022 FIFA World Cup and Saudi Arabia’s USD 500 billion Red Sea coastline project among many others, is presenting new opportunities for the sector, triggering a surge in corporate travel and domestic and international tourist arrivals. With the increasing number of both domestic and international leisure and business travelers, the sector will continue to witness improvements across all KPIs, including occupancy and RevPAR over the coming years.

We are very optimistic for the remainder of 2018, given the sustained performance of the sector and the positive global economic prospects on the back of accelerating growth in major economies. When it comes to partnering with owners, Rotana believes in synergic partnerships that benefit both sides while also strengthen Rotana’s position as a leading hospitality management company. Throughout our journey, we have always been focused on creating and nurturing lifelong relationships with owners that share our values and vision for the hospitality sector, thereby complementing each other’s business objectives. It is important for Rotana to work with partners that bring a deep understanding of the local ecosystem and are familiar with on-ground sensibilities and realities of various markets, which allows us to tailor-make our strategies to drive effective results. Last year, Rotana completed 25 years of operations in the region, which in itself, is a testament to the success of our partnerships with hotel owners in the region. We are constantly seeking strategic insight from our hotel owners and integrating them into our day-to-day business practice. From the planning and design phase all the way to the operational stage, our partners play an important role in helping us deliver exceptional guest experiences and occupancy rates at each of our properties, which positively impact our revenues and brand equity. Having already established a strong presence in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey are now emerging as a key focus market for Rotana owing to the vast growth opportunities we believe the continent holds.

We debuted in Africa in 2017 with the opening of the five-star Kin Plaza Arjaan by Rotana in Kinshasa, which is set to be the start of a robust development pipeline with projects underway in Marrakesh, Luanda, Dar Es Salaam, and Lagos, which include a mix of premium and mid-scale offerings. We will continue to maintain a sharp focus on Africa in our long-term efforts to operate 100 hotels by 2020. When it comes to picking the right concepts, the region is both a leading tourism destination as well as a strategic hub for commerce, attracting a wide segment of travelers who come to this part of the world for leisure, business or both. Luxury hospitality is the centrepiece of the region’s diverse tourism offering and will continue to be so, but there is an increasing surge in demand for mid-market and budget properties that cater to the needs of younger travelers or millennials, backpackers and even small families. Rotana has already been catering to this segment through our ‘Centro by Rotana’ brand and we are currently operating a total of 2,365 keys across nine mid-range hotels the region. As a homegrown brand, we understand the Middle East, Africa and Turkey region well and believe there’s plenty of footprint to grow here. Most countries are now diversifying their economic strategies away from oil and relying on technology and innovation to create new sources of revenue, whether through new tourism attractions or investments aimed at transforming the region into a prominent commercial hub. Our strategy to further expand our presence in this geography is hinged on the diversification of our product offerings to meet the needs of emerging visitor segments and the evolving needs of the market, with mid-market hotels being a key focus. In addition, we will continue to expand and grow our product offering in line with market trends and needs of the industry in the years to come.

Hotel NameCity/CountryNumber of roomsExpected Opening Date
Centro OlayaRiyadh/KSA156Q3 2018
Centro CornicheAl Khobar/KSA253Q1 2019
Bosmal Arjaan by RotanaSarajevo/Bosnia130Q4 2018
Centro SalamaJeddah/KSA189Q2 2018
Beach Arjaan by RotanaAbu Dhabi/UAE326Q2 2018
Imam Reza RotanaMashhad/Iran272Q1 2019
Johari RotanaDar Es Salaam/Tanzania256Q1 2019
Slemani RotanaSuleimaniyah/Iraq220Q4 2019
Dana Rayhaan by RotanaDammam/KSA285Q2 2019
Cayan Arjaan by RotanaDubai/UAE281Q1 2019
Al Jaddaf RotanaDubai/UAE338Q2 2019
Centro SoharSohar/Oman200Q2 2021
Centro AmmanAmman/Jordan200Q2 2021
Barka Rayhaan by RotanaBarka/Oman250Q2 2021
Barka Arjaan by RotanaBarka/Oman260Q2 2021
Al Mouj Rayhaan by RotanaMuscat/Oman200Q2 2021
Sabah RotanaDubai/UAE534Q4 2020
Gateway Arjaan by RotanaRas Al Khaimah/UAE185Q2 2021
Jeddah Arjaan by RotanaJeddah/KSA210Q2 2021
Sheikh Zayed Road RotanaDubai/UAE590Q2 2021
Centro MedinaMedina/KSA270Q2 2021
Cairo RotanaCairo/Egypt200Q2 2021

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