How has 2007 fared for Kempinski Hotels?
Many Kempinski hotels are marking their jubilees this year and celebrating decades of achievements, such as the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, Kempinski Hotel Vier Jahres Zeiten in Munich and Kempinski Hotel Corvinus in Budapest.
In the Middle East, Kempinski witnessed the launching of the ski chalets at Kempinski hotel Mall of the Emirates, the new Anantara Spa at Emirates Palace, the opening of the new wing in Kempinski Hotel Ishtar, Dead Sea in Jordan and of course the signing many new hotel projects in KSA, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and other countries.
What are the company’s plans for 2008?
This will be a dynamic year for Kempinski in the Middle East and Africa region, with many new properties joining our portfolio and new facilities being added to existing properties. Within the first six months of the year, the Kempinski Hotel Bahrain City Centre, Kempinski Hotel Aqaba, Jordan and the Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, Egypt will open. Scheduled for late 2008, Kempinski’s entry into Syria will be heralded with the opening of the Kempinski Hotel Al Hayat, Damascus.
In Namibia the first of their luxury lodges will open – Kempinski Mokuti Lodge, closely followed by another upscale wilderness resort, Kempinski Kings Den in Chobe.
Renovations will continue at the Kempinski Hotel Ajman.
Are there plans to enter new markets?
The group will in 2008 enter into Syria, Nambia and Egypt for the first time with both our traditional five star hotels as well as more boutique luxury niche properties. There are a number of other projects which are signed and currently being developed in other markets such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon and Oman that will be rolled out over the following three years.
What is the company’s strategy in the face of competition?
Kempinski does not follow a generic blueprint when developing each new hotel as we strongly believe that each should have its own personality, embracing the environment and culture in which it operates. However, there are some facets of the brand that remain the same the world over, and this is especially true of our focused approach to service and the distinctly Kempinski traditions of hospitality, gained from over 110 years in the business.
Is Kempinski bullish about 2008? If yes, why?
We are very confident that 2008 will be a highly successful year for Kempinski as we continue to gain momentum in the MEA, securing footholds in new areas with potential market leader properties and diversifying the portfolio to hone in on niche markets.
What will be the biggest challenges facing you in the Middle East in 2008
Obviously the depreciation of the dollar versus the euro would weaken all currencies in GCC which is one of the main feeder markets for our hotels in the Middle East and beyond. This would have an effect on their general disposable income and will naturally impact their spending power especially on luxury services in general such as hotels and holidays.