Friday, February 28, 2020

Partners in Progress

Safir spreads Kuwaiti charm
September 2019 896

Safir Hotels & Resorts (SHR) was established in 1993 by the Middle East’s first Arabian hospitality management company, the Kuwait Hotels Company. Kuwait-based and a subsidiary of KIPCO, the 26-year-old brand started out with four hotels in its portfolio. Over the years, the number of properties the brand manages has expanded steadily.

From the beginning, Safir (which means “ambassador” in Arabic) has aimed to cater to both business and leisure travellers, providing them with the best in comfort and service.

Starting out with Safir Cairo Egypt, Safir Homs Syria, and Safir Airport Hotel Kuwait, the company grew its portfolio by acquiring hotel management contracts from across the region, including Marina Hotel Kuwait, Salalah Gardens Oman, Safir Fintas Kuwait, and Safir Doha Qatar.

Following a difficult period, when several of its award-winning hotels in Iraq, Syria, Tunisia and Algeria were closed due to growing political instability in their respective locations, the company now manages nine hotels across six countries and is currently in the midst of expanding its portfolio.

In 2018, Safir adopted a new business strategy with the aim of repositioning its portfolio of hotels, resorts, and serviced hotel residences in the upscale and midscale market segments, restructuring and strengthening its corporate management team, and providing cutting-edge management support services to its hotel portfolio. 

The company has installed a corporate business development function that supports all of its business units with business planning, forecasting, and maintaining productive relationships with key travel-trade and corporate accounts. Then, as a part of a group-wide sales strategy that paid off almost instantaneously, Safir centralised its revenue management and electronic distribution functions, sharing its wealth of knowledge and experience across the entire portfolio in order to guarantee rate parity and optimum channel exposure. In addition, SHR has integrated the services of online reputation specialist ReviewPro across all of its hotels.

In terms of product, the company has embarked on a number of refurbishment, renovation and expansion projects to update its portfolio of hotels and resorts, with the most notable being Marina Hotel Kuwait, Safir’s flagship property. Not stopping there, the company is in the process of developing two new hospitality brands which are to be positioned in the upscale and upper-midscale market segments respectively.

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