In an exclusive interview with Hospitality News ME, John Northen, Executive Vice President – Middle East, India and Indian Ocean, at Shangri-La Group, shares insight on the chain’s development strategy in the region.
“We are gearing up for our entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with our first property in Jeddah,” he revealed. The hotel is planned to open in 2020 and will be housed in a 65-story development located on Jeddah Corniche Road facing the Red Sea. The development is a 236-room hotel and serviced residences project with spectacular sea views.
In terms of upgrades and enhancements, the award-winning integrated destination resort Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, which is comprised of the family and leisure-focused wings Al Bandar and Al Waha, will undergo a two-phased renovation project which will kick off in June 2019 focusing on Al Waha.
“We are also eyeing more opportunities in Saudi Arabia and looking at North and West Africa,” he added. He continued: “While we are committed to our growth and furthering our investment opportunities in the region and beyond, we are mindful of maintaining a strong brand integrity and ensuring our properties all deliver the Shangri-La brand promise. Quality over quantity, we will always be selective in our approach.”
Shangri-La is also opening a 250-room luxurious hotel in Bahrain. The property is slated to open in 2022. In addition to the hotel, the multi-use complex will feature residences, a yacht club, shopping district, family entertainment centre and waterfront dining, retail and recreational spaces.
According to Northen, the opening of the first Shangri-La hotel in Dubai back in 2003, set a benchmark for authentic hotel service in the region. “That combined with solid operational excellence and financial performance cements our positioning as market leaders. Our hotels in the region continue to be outstanding players in a highly competitive environment supported by the unique appeal and capabilities of the Shangri-La brand.”
Stay tuned for the full interview with Northen in our coming issue.Add to Favorites