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Movenpick Hotels & Resorts to expand portfolio in the Middle East
April 2004 79

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) is forging ahead with its aggressive expansion plans for the Middle East.

The Swiss based chain currently has 21, four- and five-star hotels and resorts properties in seven countries in the Arabian Gulf, the Levant and Egypt. During 2003 MH&R added new hotels in Kuwait, Madinah and Dubai to its portfolio, followed by the opening of a spectacular airport hotel in Bahrain at the beginning of this year. This figure is set to rise dramatically in the next three years reflecting the company's confidence in this region's growth potential.
Success breeds success. So, it is no wonder that the dynamic strategy of MH&R has reaped its rewards. Last November, during the last World Travel Market in London, the company received the accolade of being “fastest growing hotel chain in the Middle East”, the prestigious prize being personally presented by Len Livingstone, the Mayor of London, to Jean Gabriel Pérès, President and CEO of the Swiss hotel chain.
MH&R has built an enviable reputation out of its ability to meet the ever-changing needs of customers within the increasingly sophisticated hospitality industry. In accord its slogan ‘True Excellence in Swiss Hospitality’, the chain puts a great emphasis on being a home from home. This in combination with carefully-selected locations for its properties, core brand values and consistent high quality of service with a sharp eye for the smallest detail is a recipe for success, as is its excellent gastronomy, which is a hallmark of the group.
The vision of Andreas Mattmüller, senior vice-president MH&R Middle East, is to have a property in every major city and holiday destination in the region. This vision is beginning to manifest itself.
The World Tourist Organisation (WTO) is predicting that the Middle East will be the second fastest in-bound region in the world, after East Asia. The global organisation is anticipating 69 million international arrivals in 2020. Using 1995 as a base with 14 million arrivals, this figure represents a 7.1-percent average annual growth rate against a world average of 4.1 per cent.
MH&R is well under way with its ambitious plans to continue to expand their portfolio in order to meet this phenomenal growth in demand. At present there are eight city and resort properties in Egypt, and two Nile cruise ships. The deluxe 259-room Mِvenpick Resort El Alamein on the Mediterranean coast will open this summer and the Mِvenpick Resort Taba, a 432-room five-star property with a 400 metre private beach on the Red Sea, next spring.
“t's true that we have been represented throughout Egypt and Jordan for many years and in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Lebanon for a shorter time but we have always felt we needed a base in UAE,” said Mattmüller. “Now we are delighted that the Mِvenpick Hotel Bur Dubai will fill that gap, as Dubai constitutes an extremely important focal point in the Middle East, and a potential hub for us.”
The next valuable addition in Dubai will be the flagship property, the Mِvenpick Dubai Pearl Hotel, with an estimated construction cost of US$82 million, it is now in its final planning stages and will open in 2006. It will be ideally located for the business traveller within the Media City Free Trade Zone, TECOM, opposite Palm Island. Also in the UAE, a contract has just been signed for a 250-room hotel in Ajman with panoramic views over the sea that is scheduled to open in 2007.
In Saudi Arabia a second hotel in Jeddah, the 210-room Mِvenpick Hotel Jeddah is scheduled to open later this year and a new hotel in Al Khobar in an ideal location on the Al Khobar Corniche is planned for 2005. A formal contract agreement is imminent for the 1,150-room Mِvenpick Anwar el Madinah, which will be the largest property managed by MH&R in the Middle East.
MH&R has clearly demonstrated their foresight in the signing of agreements for new properties in
fairly unique locations: Tripoli, Libya, Ramallah in
the West Bank and the Yemeni capital Sana'a.
Opening dates for these hotels will be announced as these projects progress.




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