Rotana to add 1,500 rooms in Saudi Arabia

Al Marwa Rayhaan By Rotana in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

With the summer holiday season and Eid Al Adha now over, the Saudi hospitality market is once again preparing for tourists, business visitors and the year-round influx of pilgrims coming to visit Makkah and Madinah, while at the same time, for business travel to various countries around the world, especially the Gulf region, Turkey and Egypt.

This is, indeed, boom time for the travel industry, but it is just a part of a larger trend across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) of both leisure and business travel that is noticeably increasing demand, especially, in the hotel industry.

Particularly in the Arab countries, hotels are working furiously to meet this demand by developing new properties and renovating existing ones. Reports have already been released forecasting an increase in hotel rooms from the current 242,000 to 381,000 by the watershed year of 2020.

Rotana, which already operates a portfolio of more than 100 hotels and resorts in the region, is working to meet the rise in demand and the evolving nature of the market through new construction and the incorporation of advanced systems designed to make the guest experience easier, more efficient and more satisfying.

Kaddouri ... big ambitions

Although Rotana operates top-rated hotels and resorts in cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Makkah, Bahrain, Doha, Salalah, Beirut, Amman, Istanbul and Sharm al Sheikh, it is in Saudi Arabia that the chain’s potential for growth is most significant.

'The hotel segment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest in the Arab world,' says Omer Kaddouri, president and chief executive officer at Rotana. 'We looked at the arrival of 88 million visitors to Saudi Arabia for religious tourism, leisure tourism and business activity between now and 2020.'

According to Kaddouri, Rotana expects to increase its share of the market through an expansion of its presence in the Kingdom’s major destinations.

By 2017, Rotana will have opened the doors to six new hotels in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar and Dammam, making an additional 1500 rooms and suites available to visitors. Four of these properties fall under the Centro by Rotana brand, a new designation that meets the demands of all kinds of travellers on all types of budgets.

'These new properties are an important part of our plan to expand our presence in the Kingdom,' says Kaddouri, 'but it also comprises another very important goal and that is to increase the percentage of Saudi employees in the hospitality industry. The Saudisation goal for hotels in 40 per cent, and our Doroub programme aims to train Saudis for the more than 1,000 jobs that our expansion will create.'

Rotana has completely renovated its online portal to accommodate the demands of a younger, more tech-savvy generation, which has become accustomed to booking hotels, rental cars and other travel services online. Today, guests can book any Rotana hotel or resort with four clicks at Available in five languages, including Arabic and English, the website offers direct contact with Rotana without involving commission-charging third parties.

'We have big ambitions,' says Kaddouri, 'and we are seizing the current opportunity to expand and meet the challenges of a growing market with the goal of further becoming a leading play in hospitality not only in the Middle East and Africa but in South Asia and Eastern Europe, as well.' 

By a Staff Reporter


Rotana announces luxury 598 keys in Dubai

Rotana has announced the launch of a new luxury five-star hotel and serviced apartment project in Dubai, scheduled to open before 2020.

Situated on Sheikh Zayed Road, across from the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the new hotel will be Rotana’s 16th property in Dubai and 35th in the UAE, and will add a total of 598 keys to the group’s existing 13,678-strong room count across the region.

Meanwhile, Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana has just opened in Abu Dhabi, with special rates starting from $2,450 per month, including a 15 per cent discount on food and beverage outlets.