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Tue 28 Jun 2011 09:11 AM

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Rotana eyes 3,000 staff for wave of hotel openings

Abu Dhabi-based hotelier plans to open 25 mid-market hotels before 2015

Rotana eyes 3,000 staff for wave of hotel openings
Rotana said in December it would launch seven properties in 2011 representing an investment of $800m and making it the UAE’s largest single hotel player with 33 hotels

Abu
Dhabi-based hotelier Rotana plans to open 25 mid-market hotels across the Middle
East by 2015, creating about 3,000 jobs, its CEO said Monday.

The company,
which this month launched its third budget hotel in the UAE, plans to use its
low-cost brand Centro to tap into a growing demand for high-quality but
modestly-priced rooms.

“There
has not enough been enough supply of branded, three-star hotels in this
region,” president and CEO of Rotana Selim El Zyr told Arabian Business.

“In
the UK you have got thousands of budget hotels, but in the Middle East, the
only option for travelers has been four or five-star hotels which a lot of
people can’t afford, or three star hotels that are individually operated and
mostly run down.”

Industry
experts have predicted a boom in cheap but chic hotels will help revolutionise
the Middle East’s hotel industry in the same way budget airlines have shaken up
aviation.

The rapid growth of mid-range hotels in the region is set to
mirror Europe’s budget hotel growth two decades years ago, with Saudi holy
cities Makkah and Medina leading the way, Jones Lang LaSalle said in May.

“I see huge potential [for budget hotels] especially in
places like the holy cities in Saudi Arabia; phenomenal potential,” Thierry
Loué, CEO, MENA, Jones Lang La Salle said.

Rotana’s
Sharjah Centro was launched in partnership with local no-frills airline Air
Arabia. The hotel brings the brand’s number of budget rooms in the UAE to 800,
including two Centro hotels in operation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The brand
is banking on a rise in demand from money-conscious business travellers and mid-market tourists to fuel
its expansion, said El Zyr.

“More
people are traveling and looking for budget hotels. Now they have got the option
to go to a branded three-star hotel, where they are guaranteed to get a clean
room and to the minimum standards that they would expect.”

Sharjah
Centro is the company’s 28th property in the UAE, and one of 70 hotels managed
by Rotana across the Middle East. Rotana has signed deals for 15 Centro
properties around the region.

The
next two properties to open will both be in Abu Dhabi, one of which will launch
this July and the other in January 2012, El Zyr said.

Privately-held Rotana said in December it would launch seven
properties in 2011 representing an investment of $800m and making it the UAE’s
largest single hotel player with 33 hotels under management.

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