By Sarah Townsend
Group president says wants openings in key European cities by 2020
UAE-based hotel operator Rotana plans is close to signing agreements to operate its first hotels in Western Europe, the group’s president and CEO Omer Kaddouri said this week.
Kaddouri told Arabian Business that Europe represented the next target market for Rotana’s expansion plans, and the company is targeting openings in key cities across the UK and Europe by 2020.
“In terms of expansion goals yet to be achieved, I want to do Europe,” he said. “I am confident that by 2020 we will have a number of hotels in key European cities such as London and Paris, and to do that we will need to sign operating deals by next year.”
He said Rotana was in talks with various parties and intends to sign the first of the agreements in 2017.
In the UK, Kaddouri said, Rotana is interested in opening in central London and core regional cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.
At present, the bulk of Rotana’s hotels are in the UAE – it has 44 across the emirates, representing around 70 percent of its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) portfolio. It also has a presence in Eastern Europe.
At the ATM travel conference this week, Rotana outlined plans to open 18 new hotels across the region in 2016-2017, growing its portfolio to 75 operating hotels and 19,935 keys.
New properties set to open in the next two years include five hotels in Saudi Arabia, four in the UAE, and two each in Iraq and Turkey. There are also plans to open in Jordan, Iran and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kaddouri also told Arabian Business that he expects a drop of around 11 percentage points in revenue per available hotel room (Revpar) because of currency pressures and abundance of supply.
However, he said he was “not concerned” about this given that occupancy rates are still holding up across the country. Occupancy rates across Rotana’s portfolio stand at around 80 percent, he said.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.