Rotana on track for continued expansion

Artist’s impression of the Saadiyat property

ROTANA the leading hotel management company in the Middle East and North Africa, was at the World Travel Market 2010 (WTM) to strengthen its presence and to support its expansion plans of reaching a portfolio of 70 properties by 2014.

Over the past year the company, which started out with just two properties in 1993, has opened several new properties including Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, Dubai’s latest landmark which is certified as the tallest hotel in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, Rotana’s first resort in Dubai, Amwaj Rotana, and Centro Barsha, the first property to open in Dubai under the affordable Centro Hotels by Rotana brand.

The 301-room Amwaj Rotana is part of the new Jumeirah Beach Residence complex and is a significant move into the resort arena for Rotana in Dubai.

Nour Arjaan by Rotana, opened in October, is situated in the picturesque emirate of Fujairah offering 252 guest rooms, meeting rooms, an all-day-dining restaurant and a café, a rooftop swimming pool and an extensive gym.

And the end of the year will see the launch of the 300-room Centro Sharjah Airport which will include both rooms and suites close to one of the region’s fastest-growing airports.

The fabulous, alcohol-free city resort Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana in Abu Dhabi opened its doors in September featuring 443 luxurious rooms, suites and serviced apartments on one of the country’s most stunning beaches.

The company’s first property in Qatar, Oryx Rotana – Doha, opened in August 2010 close to Doha International Airport and, also in Doha, the 300-room City Centre Rotana will open at the end of the year.

In Iraq the Erbil Rotana is also scheduled to open towards the end of the year close to the ministries area.For the next four years, Rotana will open 10 hotels per year and in 2013 there will be a new departure with the opening of the extra-luxury property on Saadiyat Island which will see Rotana moving up a level.

COO Omer Kaddouri said: “A lot of people talk about luxury in the Middle East but it can be a difficult category to label. If you look at properties such as Emirates Palace or the Armani Hotel, they are on a different level from the regular five star so the question has to be about how you classify it.

“Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai are going to be looking at reclassification along the lines of gold and platinum and I think that is the right way to go.

“For us, Rotana is a five-star brand but when we open the Saadiyat property, which will be alongside the likes of the St Regis and Shangri-La, it will be a case of raising the standard.

“Saadiyat is a completely luxury destination and our hotel will certainly fit in with the development.

“Going forward into 2011, we expect business to be flattish but slightly better than it has been. We can see that the world economic situation is improving and we will be moving into several different markets.

“The plan is right. The strategy is there. The execution and know-how are there. The objective is clear. Rotana is positive that as long as the company is able to manage growth in an efficient way, then there is the scope to take up further properties.

“The expansion is taking us into new markets such as Bahrain, Baghdad, Jordan, Oman, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”