President and CEO,
Rotana Hotels & Resorts
Where does the company stand in terms of its growth trajectory and its strategy for the MENA region?
We started 2021 on a positive note with the announcement of our expanding pipeline for the next three years, comprising 10 new landmark developments, significant hotel signings and new agreements which will take place in Manama, Bahrain and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, alongside further expansion in the UAE, Qatar and Turkey. Recently, we have signed new management agreements with Al Marasem Development and Marina Way Lagoon to strengthen our presence in Egypt. The agreement includes the management of two new properties: Lake Residence, serviced apartments in New Cairo which will also mark Rotana’s debut in the capital city, and Marina Bay, Hotel Apartments in Alamein, North Coast. We currently operate 68 hotels in 24 cities across 14 countries, including an impressive 10,012 keys across 36 hotels in the UAE. The group’s pipeline consists of 44 upcoming projects, including 10 that will deliver more than 3,000 keys to the market in the next three years. The strategic agreements will enable Rotana to add 3,000 keys across the region, signaling a new phase of recovery for the hospitality group.
We are on course with our international expansion and are currently operating seven hotels in KSA and have a further five properties under development. We will be adding two new properties in Al Baha and Jubail under the Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana brand to its pipeline in KSA, in addition to a four-star Rayhaan in Jeddah. Rotana will be opening the five-star Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts in Jubail in Q1 2022 and the four-star mountain resort project in 2024. The one in Jeddah will open in 2025.
Capitalizing on the growing demand for the long-stay segment in Manama, Rotana has signed an agreement under Residences by Rotana. Set to open in 2022, the property will feature 483 keys and provide an extended-stay focused brand to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Furthermore, Rotana is keen to provide its guests with a holistic living experience by offering a home-away-from-home setting within the city, introducing a 220-key Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana, which is scheduled to open in 2023.
In Qatar, there are two new upcoming projects; the group recently took over the management of the 250-key Sedra Arjaan by Rotana, which is already operating and is located in the heart of Doha, The Pearl Island, and we also signed a hotel management agreement under the Centro Hotels brand, with a stylish 350-key property that’s set to add a new dimension to Doha’s vibrant hospitality scene by 2023.
We are on course with the launch of two new properties on the European side of Istanbul: Bomonti Arjaan by Rotana and Bomonti Residences by Rotana, offering 650 units that are set to open doors to guests in 2022. Additionally, the group has taken over a third property in the city, located at the center of Istanbul’s new business district. Under refurbishment, the five-star property is set to open its doors to guests in Q2 2022. Our key focus is placed on international markets. However, we will continue to strengthen our footprint in the UAE to meet the predicted growing demand for hotel rooms in the upscale segment in 2021 and beyond. This is reflected in the recent signing of a hotel management agreement under the Rotana Hotels & Resorts master brand. Expected to open in 2023, the property, which is located in Dubai, will boost the group’s number of residential and hospitality units in the country by 295 keys. Our upcoming properties will go a long way toward meeting the pent-up demand anticipated during and beyond Expo 2020 this year and will help ramp up overall room capacity, which is crucial to achieving the city’s ambitious tourism vision.