Mövenpick to expand in region

The Mövenpick at Petra in Jordan

As well as opening new locations in European cities such as Berlin and Istanbul, the Swiss hotel chain Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts (MH&R) is paying particular attention to accelerating its expansion strategy in the Middle East. With 26 hotels this important region continues to grow - the takeover of an existing hotel in Dubai now opens also the market in the UAE.

Having opened hotels in Beirut, Cairo Media City, Jeddah and Madinah in the last few months, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts now establishes its first base in Dubai, an important destination in the portfolio of the hotel chain that is headquartered in Zurich/Switzer-land. High Swiss quality standards, culinary expertise and management know-how are the keys to the excellent reputation enjoyed by the company in the Middle East.

The remarkable success story began almost 30 years ago with the arrival of the first MH&R hotel in the Middle East, the Mövenpick Resort Cairo Pyramids. A large number of hotels in Egypt quickly followed. Today MH&R very successfully runs five holiday resorts, two business hotels and also two Nile cruise liners in the land of the Pharaohs. It is planned to add more hotels to this impressive list before the year is out, for example in Taba. In Jordan MH&R is also located throughout the country. Four hotels situated in the most important tourist centres including the Dead Sea, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra and the Gulf of Aqaba, offer travellers a full range of top-class activities and entertainment.

Other hotels in Lebanon, Qatar and in Saudi Arabia were added later and now Dubai is to experience the world of Swiss hospitality.

Andreas Mattmüller, the senior vice-president of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East, describes the development in the following way: "Dubai has headed the list of our dream destinations for a very long time but we did not find an appropriate project to work on. But now the opening of the Mövenpick Dubai Pearl Hotel in 2005 will finally enable us to do justice to our good reputation also in the United Arab Emirates. We enjoy very good business relations with the owners of the hotels which we run and have done so, in most cases, for many years. Our top-quality Swiss product is particularly valued and appreciated in the Arabic countries. Just recently our management contract for the Mövenpick Hotel Cairo-Heliopolis was extended again after 17 years for the third time."

Guests staying at Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts find something to suit every taste: whether golfing in the Egyptian desert in Sharm El Sheikh, or diving in the Red Sea; be it a spa treatment on the shores of the Dead Sea or a sojourn in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Whatever the location, the common thread running through the hotels is the desire to offer every guest a little piece of home away from home. In other words, to do justice to the Mövenpick philosophy of "being hosts who constantly delight and surprise our guests with the uncompromisingly high quality of our products and service".

"Very important for us is, of course, our close working relationship with the Kingdom Hotel Investment Company, which is owned by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud. Kingdom owns 30 per cent of MH&R shares so it comes as no surprise that we are in charge of the running of very many hotels for His Royal Highness," continued Andreas Mattmüller.

"This constellation has proved its worth since 1998 and has enabled us to undertake numerous interesting and first rate projects."

At the beginning of February, the first hotel of the Swiss hotel chain was opened in Kuwait. The new Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait consists of 100 deluxe rooms and is situated on the waterfront of Shuwaikh Bay, in the heart of Kuwait's new free trade zone, and only minutes away from the airport and the most important business districts.

In autumn 2003 a new Hotel & Conference Centre managed by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will be opened in Bahrain. The international first class property will be located adjacent to Bahrain International Airport and close to the Gulf Air headquarters. With a main facade overlooking the Arad Bay the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain will offer 120 equivalent rooms, suites and executive suites, as well as a business lounge. A modern infrastructure with restaurant, bar, coffee shops, health club, shopping arcade and swimming pools will offer excellent facilities to the international business traveller; the business centre and banquet hall will provide the ideal setting for conferences, banquets and receptions.