Ritz-Carlton eyes new hotels in MidEast

Properties in Beirut and Amman on luxury hotelier's wish list, says senior exec

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is looking to expand its Middle East hotel portfolio with hotels in Beirut, Lebanon and Amman, Jordan on the wish-list, the company’s global officer worldwide operations told Hotelier.

The luxury hotelier currently operates nine hotels in the Middle East, including the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, which opened on March 12.

Speaking during the hotel’s ten-day countdown, Bob Kharazmi said: “As a company we have a strategic growth, we identify certain markets that our customers are travelling to; definitely they expect us to be there so we do plan to be there. Looking at the end of 2015, our plan, and our pipeline of the properties and the hotels, will put us to be about 105 hotel units.

“In the Middle East, definitely we have three projects in Morocco and we want to be in Morocco. We want to be in Lebanon, in Beirut and we are working on a project there, we’d like to go to Amman, Jordan, so from this part of the region these are the markets we’re looking at,” revealed Kharazmi.

“Globally, there are certain areas in Asia and Europe we are focusing on,” he continued, with the group already planning to debut in India with The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore in July.

“I believe that by the end of 2015 we can accomplish our strategic growth plan and be at 105 hotels around the world,” said Kharazmi.

When it comes to future projects, he said Ritz-Carlton was seeing the most opportunity in Asia, “especially China”, with markets in the Middle East coming a “very close” second.

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