Rotana embarks on $800m expansion

The Centro brand serves the mid-tier market

ABU Dhabi-based Rotana is pushing ahead with its expansion plans in 2011 and has announced that this year’s total  investment, managed by the group, will be more than $800 million with six new hotels due to open in the UAE alone.

Rotana is also scheduled to launch a further property in Qatar as part of an aggressive expansion strategy in the region that will see the group managing 12,515 rooms by the end of 2011.

Figures from STR Global show occupancy in the Middle East and Africa region was 69.8 per cent in November 2010, an increase of 2.4 percent as compared to the previous year with Abu Dhabi experiencing the largest occupancy increase, rising 33.6 per cent to 76 per cent.

Rotana recorded an average occupancy rate of 74 per cent in 2010 and  expects this figure to increase by nine per cent in 2011.

As a leader in the region’s hospitality industry, CEO Selim El Zyr said: “We are constantly developing new ways to keep in step with changing travel trends and guest preferences, and one of the key areas for growth that we are currently addressing is the mid-tier market, for which we developed the Centro Hotels by Rotana brand.”

He said location is the main focus in decisions on managing a property with Iraq, Lebanon and Qatar firmly on the radar.

And he added that the proudly home-grown hospitality brand will need 3,500 new employees to support its growth targets, a welcome development for an industry hit by substantial lay-offs as a result of the global downturn.