WTM Preview Le Meridien Kuwait planning a new look November 2003 272 Le Meridien, the luxury hotel group, has announced major renovation at its property in Kuwait, with the new look due to be unveiled in December. The property, formerly the Ritz hotel Kuwait, is undergoing a major refurbishment - as well as extension of rooms and facilities - in preparation for its rebranding as Le Meridien Kuwait.Hannes Yaghi, Le Meridien hotels general manager in Kuwait, said: “We have started on a substantial development programme at the hotel, which will include a 30 per cent increase of room stock to take us to 78 units.“The re-design should give us a fresh and dynamic edge in the market, as well as help us capitalise on our successful opening rates strategy, which has seen us achieve 100 per cent occupancy consistently since we took over management on January 1.”The refurbishment of Le Meridien Kuwait is one of five new projects over three years in the country, totalling almost 450 rooms. Le Meridien Kuwait will have a further extension in mid-2005 with the addition of a custom-built 120-room tower and convention centre. Meanwhile, the second property to be added to the group’s portfolio is Le Meridien Art+Tech in Kuwait City’s Fahad Al Salem Street, which is scheduled to open towards the end of the year. This property will mark the first Art+Tech hotel anywhere in the region and will be followed by a second, 70-unit Art+Tech hotel in the Mubarakia area in 2005. A Le Meridien Residence in Salmiya is confirmed for June 2006 with 80 residential apartments - again another first in its category.The development is driven by Le Meridien’s new owning company relationship recently established with A’Amal Hotels Company. However, Le Meridien is not a new brand in the country. In fact, it is one of the longest serving hotel brands and has a track record in Kuwait going back more than two decades.