QNH rebrands as Katara


WITH the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) having recorded 132 per cent increase in the number of pre-registered visitors for 2012 compared to 2011, it’s perhaps no surprise that Qatar National Hotels Company (QNH) chose the busy trade fair to unveil its new corporate identity.

Rebranded as Katara Hospitality, the initiative was driven by the need to reflect the company’s ambitions for international expansion.

Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality, explains: “Over the last four decades, we have been at the forefront of the development of Qatar’s hospitality industry at both domestic and international levels.

As we embark on a new wave of strategic expansion, we seized the opportunity to redefine the brand and set the scene for future growth of not only our rapidly expanding portfolio, but of Qatar’s reputation as a key player in the global tourism market.”

While the inspiration for the name dates back to 150 AD with the word ‘Catara’ being used by the Ancient Greeks to refer to the area known as the Qatar Peninsula, the focus is very much on the future both internationally and domestically.

On the overseas front, the rebrand aims to both raise awareness in key targeted overseas markets as well as develop long-term business-to-business partnerships with leading global hospitality players. Closer to home, the National Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification is at the heart of domestic expansion plans. With more than 4,000 hotel rooms already operational or under construction, Katara Hospitality has a number of openings on the horizon including two new Qatar-based projects – an iconic development in the Marina District of the new Lusail city and the Merwebhotel City Centre Doha.

Katara Hospitality will also use ATM as a platform to share exciting plans for future global development within its broad remit as asset owner, developer and manager of a growing hospitality portfolio on three continents.

Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, chief executive officer of Katara Hospitality, reports: “Our focus on international expansion began in 2006 with the acquisition of the Renaissance Sharm El Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort in Egypt, and we currently have 24 hotels operational or under development in eight international destinations. We are looking to increase that to 30 properties by 2016 and double that figure by 2030 to 60 hotels and resorts around the world.”

“Our focus is on strategic investments and acquiring a collection of international properties that are true hospitality icons in the grandest sense; having said that, we are also building new icons of hospitality that incorporate the latest technology and offer a contemporary alternative, but with the same warm, genuine service that defines the new Katara Hospitality brand,” concludes Al Mulla.