Swiss-Belhotel International has revealed plans to expand its portfolio in the Middle East and Africa with the launch of a series of new hotels, resorts and residences in exciting destinations across this rapidly emerging region.
The Hong Kong-based hospitality company currently has a collection of 145 hotels and resorts either operating or in the pipeline in 22 countries on four continents. These include superb properties in the Middle East like the 144-room Swiss-Belhotel Seef and 129-apartment Swiss-Belresidences Juffair in Bahrain, 204-room Swiss-Belhotel Sharjah in the UAE, and the 164-key Swiss-Belhotel Doha in Qatar. Most recently, on October 1, the 124-room Swiss-Belinn Doha opened its doors in the Qatari capital, marking the debut of the Swiss-Belinn economy brand in the Gulf.
In the next three years, the company’s presence in the Middle East and Africa will increase threefold to at least 16 hotels. This widespread strategy will see Swiss-Belhotel International make its entrance in multiple markets, including Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.
In 2020 alone, the company is on track to add six new Middle Eastern properties. The opening of Swiss-Belinn Muscat will represent the group’s arrival in Oman, while the launch of Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziyah, in the holy city of Makkah, will mark its entry into Saudi Arabia. Swiss-Belhotel International is planning to introduce two of its brands to Kuwait next year, with the inauguration of Swiss-Belboutique Bneid Al Gar and Swiss-Belresidences Al Sharq. It will also double its footprint in Bahrain with the debut of two outstanding properties: Grand Swiss-Belresort Seef and Swiss-Belsuites Admiral Juffair.
Then in 2021, the group will enter sub-Saharan Africa for the first time with the launch of Swiss-Belresort Zanzibar in Tanzania. Following this, at least two more hotels will start welcoming guests in 2022, including Swiss-Belhotel and Suites Jazan in Saudi Arabia and Swiss-Belhotel Marseilia, Alexandria Beach, which will represent the brand’s arrival in Egypt. Around the same time, Iraq and Georgia are expected to have Swiss-Belhotel Erbil and Grand Swiss-Belhotel Batumi respectively.
By the end of this phase of expansion, Swiss-Belhotel International will operate a regionwide collection of 16 properties under seven distinct brands, comprising over 2,700 rooms, suites and residences and a wide range of world-class services, including outstanding restaurants and lounges, health and wellness facilities, business services and more. Whichever hotel guests choose, they will stay fully connected with complimentary wi-fi.
According to the latest data from the UNWTO, the Middle East is the fastest-growing market in terms of international arrivals in the first quarter of 2019, surging 8 per cent year-on-year, while Africa rose 3 per cent. With Saudi Arabia having recently unveiled plans to attract more overseas visitors, UAE in preparation with Expo 2020 and Qatar preparing to host the Fifa World Cup in 2022, this area is set to welcome even more business and leisure guests in the coming years.
“The Middle East and Africa is one of the most dynamic regions on the planet, with surging visitor arrivals and many breath-taking new tourism projects. This creates outstanding opportunities for Swiss-Belhotel International, as we spread our wings and introduce intuitive, innovative brands to destinations worldwide. We look forward to introducing even more guests in the Middle East and Africa to our international standards of hospitality in the coming years, in a wide variety of market segments,” said Gavin M. Faull, chairman and president of Swiss-Belhotel International.
Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, stated: “The MEA region continues to present us with fantastic opportunities to further enhance and diversify our portfolio. The huge investment in airports, infrastructure and hotels, broadening portfolio of attractions and facilities, diversification of source markets and collaboration between various business sectors are all accelerating the pace of tourism in the region and at Swiss-Belhotel International we are well-placed to capitalise on the opportunity. The upcoming openings, representing our compelling brands, will strengthen our presence in the region while giving greater choice to travellers.”
Swiss-Belhotel International’s development in the Middle East and Africa forms part of a broader global growth strategy. By the end of 2020, the group expects to boost its total portfolio to 250 properties comprising approximately 25,000 rooms under its 14 diverse brands, spanning the hospitality spectrum from economy to luxury. - TradeArabia News Service
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