Geared to expand
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is strengthening its presence in the Middle East by opening more hotels in the region, according to Antoine G. Corinthios, president Europe, Middle East and Africa, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
He was in Dubai recently to announce the new Four Seasons Golf and Country Club at the Dubai Festival City. The group’s first hotel in Dubai, also located in Dubai Festival City, is currently under design and development.
Four Seasons Hotel Dubai will be built at an initial development cost of $191.8 million and will have 250 rooms and villas, a destination spa, five restaurants and a range of conference and banqueting facilities. Last year, Four Seasons opened its second property in Cairo, Egypt, on the west bank of river Nile. The hotel is part of a mixed-use complex comprising residential apartments, mall, spa and restaurants.
In a few weeks time it will open a hotel in Doha, Qatar. “With an exclusive beach and marina, the spectacular hotel is located next to the convention centre and overlooks the Arabian Gulf as the centre piece of the outstanding waterfront landmark, the West Bay business and residential complex,” said Corinthios.
Later this year, the group will open one hotel in Damascus, Syria. Early next year will see the opening of another hotel in Alexandria, Egypt. But that’s not all. Also under development are projects in Beirut, Kuwait and Bahrain. In addition, the brand plans another hotel in Istanbul.
Since the first Four Seasons hotel in the Middle East opened in Cairo in May 2000, the brand has become established throughout the region. “The Middle East, Asia and Europe are the three fastest growing areas in our global growth plan and we are looking for the right opportunities in these key growth markets,” said. “This year we opened a hotel in Hampshire. Located 40 miles outside of London, the resort and business meeting hotel is a corporate destination during the week and leisure destination for weekends. End of this year will see the opening of a hotel in Hong Kong, another in Langkawi, Malaysia, and so the growth continues. We plan to open three to five hotels every year for the next five years,” added Corinthios. “Our first project in Dubai will be an incredible addition to the portfolio we have,” he said.
Commenting on business, he said last year was a very good year for the hotel industry, which started to come back from the reeling effect of September 11. As for his personal philosophy, Corinthios, said, “The key to the finest hotel service is an obsessive concern for details, for those small indications of personal recognition and attention. It is, after all, thousands of details that make hotel work, and a total commitment to guaranteeing the perfect guest experience that makes a fine hotel an extraordinary one.”