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Partners in Progress

Rotana epitomises growth of sector
September 2019 3028

Just over a quarter of a century ago, Nasser Al Nowais, chairman of Rotana, and Selim El Zyr, vice-chairman of Rotana, set forth to bring to life a vision they shared – to find a hotel group that will carry forward the deep-rooted tradition and legacy of hospitality of the region. The journey of Rotana since its inception in 1992 in Abu Dhabi is a story worth telling. It is also the story of how the region’s indigenous hospitality industry has evolved over the past 27 years.

In 1993, Rotana opened its first hotel, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, which would later become a symbol of the brand’s homegrown success. The company worked tirelessly to build a sizeable presence in the UAE over the next few years. Before long, the company began expanding its footprint in the wider region, with the opening of its first hotel in Beirut, Lebanon and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2000.

As the Middle East transformed into a hotspot for tourism and investments, Rotana pursued an ambitious expansion strategy to achieve its goal of opening a Rotana hotel in every major city in the region. The company brought its signature hospitality to new markets in the region, from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman to Iraq and Turkey, among many others.

By then, Africa had become the newest paradise for investors and travellers alike. Capitalising on this opportunity, Rotana entered the enormous market with the opening of a hotel in Kinshasa in 2017. A number of projects underway in key cities including Luanda, Dar es Salaam and Lagos will further cement Rotana’s presence in Africa.

Last year, Rotana reached a new milestone as it made its foray into Europe with the opening of two hotels on the European side of Istanbul. Taking it even closer to the continent, the company has announced a new hotel in Bosnia and Herzegovina to enter the Southeast European market.

Rotana has grown to become one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Turkey, taking its portfolio from a single property in 1993 to over a 112 in the present day across five distinct brands – Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Centro by Rotana, Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana, Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana, and The Residences by Rotana.

With their reputation for delivering unforgettable moments, Rotana’s distinguished food and beverage offerings have remained a major pillar for its success. A diverse collection of over 300 unique dining venues adorn Rotana hotels epitomising the company’s genuine hospitality.

Guy Hutchinson, acting CEO of Rotana, says: “Despite fierce competition from major international chains, Rotana has steadily grown its portfolio and market presence to carve a reputation for itself as a hospitality industry leader in this region. We leveraged our biggest strength that we have a deep understanding of local market dynamics as a homegrown hotel brand to develop unique hotels that offered our guests authentic experiences and personalised services and this helped Rotana to become a brand not only widely recognised, but also much admired.”

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