Hilton set to open four new hotels in Egypt, Levant

An impression of the Sunset Terrace at the yet-to-open Hilton Luxor

Hilton Hotels in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon has revealed that its four new properties under development will open within the next two years.

This follows a successful Q1 performance by its 19-strong Egypt portfolio with average occupancies in the high 70s.
While Hilton’s first Lebanon property in Beirut is set to open later this year with 162 rooms, the new-look Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa in Egypt will re-open in the first quarter of next year with 235 rooms, said Simon Hasdell, vice-president, operations, Hilton Hotels, Egypt, Lebanon & Jordan.
Further down the line, Hilton will make its foray into Jordan with the Hilton Amman, at the mixed-use Gate development, and the Hilton Tala Bay Aqaba, in a new area of the Aqaba Riveira, both opening in 2009.
"We are exploring a number of other opportunities as well, and will disclose details as soon as agreements are signed. Our priority is also to our current portfolio to ensure the highest standards of quality in line with Hilton brand standards worldwide," said Hasdell.
Hilton has a total signed pipeline of 11 properties in the Middle East, and a development goal of an additional 20 new signings over the next five years.
Asked about openings in the new hot spot of the Levant, Syria, Hasdell said the brand was mulling opportunities in the market, as well as considering the country’s long-term stability.
Meanwhile, Hilton Egypt saw revenues rise eight per cent year on year for Q1, RevPAR (revenue per available room) increased by ten per cent, and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization) by 20 per cent - in comparison to 2006.  Hilton has 19 properties in Egypt, including two Conrads.
Tourism continues to drive income in Egypt with the GCC, Europe, US and Japan as key source markets. This is estimated to touch 11 million tourists by 2011.
The integration of Hilton Hotels and Hilton International last year, has not only created the largest chain of hotels worldwide by profit, but has also opened up significant opportunities for growth and expansion across all brands within the Hilton Family.
Asked about the regional debut of other Hilton-owned brands, Hasdell told TTN that the entire region is ripe for Hilton to expand its mid-market brands, such as Double Tree and Hilton Garden Inn.
Hilton’s current development pipeline, the largest ever, consists of signed contracts for 775 hotels totalling more than 110,000 rooms, of which 75 will be located outside the US.