Gulf’s Best Western managed by Mohebi
BEST Western International has forged an area development deal with Zainal Mohebi Group (ZMG) which will brand, manage and oversee its Middle East developments.
Best Western International’s market development strategy is to establish a strong foothold in the Middle East, targeted countries initially including the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.
Glenn de Souza, Best Western vice president, international operations Asia, said, “The region’s economy is booming and it offers great opportunities for the hospitality sector.”
As part of the BWI-ZMG agreement, Mohebi Investments (MI) has been contracted to operate Best Western’s Middle East area development office, and has already announced the first Middle East property to be branded and managed by the chain, the 220 room Best Western Residences in Dubai. This $55 million development, scheduled to open in February 2009, will target short and long term business and leisure guests, and expects the hotel’s occupancy rate to reach 80 per cent in its first year of operation.
Best Western Residences is situated in Bur Dubai some 30 minutes from the airport, and features studios and one to three bedroom accommodation starting at $300 per night, conference and meeting facilities for 100 delegates, a rooftop bar and al fresco restaurant.
Mohammed Mohebi, chairman & CEO of Mohebi Investments, said, “We are investing and expanding heavily in the tourism industry of the United Arab Emirates and the broader Gulf region. This for us is a strategic move in line with the vision of our country’s leadership.”
“Total investments in tourism projects in the region stand over Dh1 trillion of which the United Arab Emirates alone accounts for well over 80 per cent of that. More than 6.5 million tourists arrived at Dubai in 2006. Given Dubai’s target to serve 15 million visitors by 2010, there is a definite need for more hotels,” Mohammed said.
He believed that there was a particular need for three and four star hotels in the Gulf region, an area of the market that had not been well addressed by international hotel chains.
“We anticipate the development of Best Western hotels in the Gulf region to exceed the Dh2 billion mark within 10 years, we are thus looking at sourcing funds through international markets as well as local and foreign funds.
Today Dubai serves as the financial gate way for the MENA region which allows us to take advantage of capital markets in a way that would never have been possible before,” said Mohebi.
The agreement also names Mohebi Aviation to manage BWI’s International Sales Office (GSA) in Dubai.