Expansions, new openings or closures?
Fresh from opening its new Damascus property the company will be preparing to open its fourth hotel in Alexandria, Egypt towards the latter part of 2006.
The success and momentum generated from our two hotels in Cairo and our resort in Sharm El Sheikh should effectively and efficiently assist us with this most exciting new property. Late 2006 will also see the opening of our resort in the Maldives.
Strategy in the face of competition?
The strategy really does not change to a great degree and is made-up of three key elements. First, we are expected to provide the finest physical facility in the given destination. Generally speaking, we would provide upscale, residential spaces with the finest in furniture and fixtures. Second, the food and beverage outlets must represent the finest restaurants at the given destination.
The most important of the three elements is service. Four Seasons’ delivery of service is unique to its brand. This stems from a culture that empowers employees to engage in intuitive service standards as well as to respond immediately to the needs of a guest.
Economic trends and indicators?
The global economy in 2005 expanded as expected; we expect this momentum to be accelerated particularly within the GCC, given the profitable energy sector. We had anticipated a broader range of feeder markets supporting hotels within the Middle East last year, and this, in fact, did occur, particularly for Egypt.
Our two properties in the GCC, namely Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and Four Seasons Hotel Doha, will not only benefit from the energy sector but from finance, construction, trade and real estate – given the expansion plans that the respective governments have devised. Unique to Doha will be the much-awaited Asian Games in December of this year.