Bavaria rolls out 2200 suites for Doha

An artist’s impression of the new Bavaria city Suites Doha

BAVARIA Hotels International (BHI) will formally announce its Bavaria City Suites Doha at ATM this year.

The property comprises four 40-floor towers, with 2,200 luxury designer suites and studios, mounted on a podium of 4 floors and will open in 2007 in the heart of Doha’s prestigious West Bay. TTN grabbed the opportunity to talk to Thomas H F Gertz, CEO Bavaria Hotels International. Excerpts from an interview with KEITH J FERNANDEZ:

Your Dubai and Doha properties are not small, with 2000-plus rooms. What market occupancy rates do you estimate? How will such large properties impact the market?
Certainly our impact will not be small, but we will also be able to attract business to both cities that was previously unattainable due to lack of available accommodation and/ or meeting facilities. We do not aim to drain the market, but to add to the variety and attractiveness of the destination. Our strategy is not to specifically undercut rates currently offered, but to offer a unique product at an attractive price for individuals and families. Our large room inventory permits us to attract a sizeable market segment and naturally our commercial rates will be impacted by the length of stay and season.
Due to the prevailing market conditions, we expect to launch with the medium and long-term stay segments taking up to 50 per cent, the balance will be met by the corporate, MICE, and leisure segments.
Compared to Dubai, Doha is still an emerging market so we expect the leisure market contribution to be initially lower, but this will grow in line with the aggressive marketing and expansion plans of the QTA and Qatar Airways.

With your new Doha announcement, what is your target portfolio size?
BHI has no specified target portfolio size, but will consider developments that meet our stringent criteria; namely projects where we can add value as operators. We have clear design and operational philosophies for properties we manage, and ideally we wish to enter a project at the initial development phase so these are met.

What plans do you have for properties outside the GCC?
BHI is expanding internationally and we are currently in discussions with a number of properties outside the GCC, however nothing is confirmed. We do not generally speculate about future destinations, but I can tell you that Asia and South Africa are of interest to us.

When can we expect your 2100-room Dubai property on Sheikh Zayed Road to open?
Bavaria Executive Suites Dubai will open at the end of 2006.  We have made a number of changes in the design of the product, particularly on the technology side, and improvements to the original plans to incorporate features and facilities to benefit our target markets. We are not rushing to open at all costs; we will open when we are satisfied we can offer a high quality product and meet our guest expectations, and will accept reservations from FIT guests approximately three months ahead of the confirmed opening date. Group reservations are being accepted for 2007, and we have several confirmations  already.

Details on Doha
BAVARIA City Suites Doha is set to open early 2007 and will offer 2,200 one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites and studios, extensive wellness and recreation facilities, a business and meetings centre, a variety of international restaurants. It is situated in West Bay overlooking the Corniche and the Arabian Gulf.
Owned by Sheikh Thani bin Abdulla Al Thani of the ruling family and operated by Bavaria Hotels International, the new development will offer unparalleled levels of service and comfort, according to a company statement, featuring the latest technology powered by Siemens, complete with seamless security systems ensuring privacy and peace of mind, plus superb panoramic views of the developing West Bay area.
Located in Doha’s new growth area, the new hotel will be within walking distance of the City Centre and the Corniche.
Leisure facilities are all located within the podium and feature a Lifestyle Fitness Club, spa, superbly equipped and spacious Kid’s Club, 5,500sqft swimming pool, landscaped gardens, two restaurants and extensive terraces for outdoor dining.