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Mon 14 May 2007 11:14 AM

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Mideast travellers boost Hyatt's global sales

The region is one of the fastest-growing source markets for the hotel giant.

A huge surge in outbound sales from the Middle East has given the Hyatt hotel group confidence that its growth plans will be matched with pent-up demand.

The number of Middle East travellers visiting Hyatt Hotels & Resorts properties worldwide in 2006 rocketed 20%, making the region one of the international group's key source markets along with China, Russia and Western Europe.

The news comes as Hyatt prepares to open six properties in the Middle East in the next two years and 43 properties outside region over the next three years.

"We are seeing Middle East outbound travellers demonstrating a preference and loyalty, for our distinct Hyatt brands. They prefer the Grand Hyatt for the opulence of the interior design, Hyatt Regency for the city-centre location and excellent business

facilities, and Park Hyatt for boutique luxury," explained Global Hyatt, senior vice president of Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME), Gebhard Rainer.

He also noted that according to the World Travel Organisation, the Middle East outbound market was witnessing 10% year-on-year growth, adding weight to Hyatt's sales tally for this region.

Middle East properties on the cards comprise the 142-room Park Hyatt Jeddah, the first boutique hotel in Saudi Arabia offering unrestricted access to the seafront; the Grand Hyatt Doha with 268 rooms over five floors; the Park Hyatt Istanbul- Macka Palas, which takes over a restored 1922 building located in the fashionable Nisantasi residential and shopping district; the Grand Hyatt Beirut; Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi; and Park Hyatt Cairo.

Thierry Bertin, area director of marketing - Middle East, Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts, noted that these properties would cater to "exceptional" inbound growth, as well as intra-regional business.

"From Dubai to Doha and Amman to Jeddah, Hyatt's Grand, Park, and Regency brands have drawn a very loyal regional following," he said.

Stand out international properties on the cards include Grand Hyatt Moscow, opening in 2009 - a 94-storey, 350-room building situated just four kilometres northwest of the Kremlin on the Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment, and the 175-room Park Hyatt Shanghai, located on the top floors of Shanghai World Financial Centre in Pudong, to open in 2008.

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