Rotana heads for 60 properties with subcontinent, Iraq move

The new Centro room

Current portfolio size estimations at Rotana Hotels & Resorts are in the region of 60 properties with an imminent entry into India, Pakistan and Iraq, according to the company’s chief operating officer, Imad Elias.

“These 60 properties will be ready by 2010. We are looking at two or three more brands in the future,” he said, speaking to TTN at ATM.
“We have had several meetings with developers and landlords and things are looking positive. We are also launching our new brand of hotels, so we are very positive about this,” he added.
Rotana, which currently has 25 properties up and running, is in the process of a re-branding exercise, and Elias said a new corporate identity will be rolled out after the summer. “Each brand  that we are going to introduce or re-launch will have be supported by a major marketing exercise and roadshows, so that no matter which property you enter, each brand will stand out from the moment you walk into the lobby. Its not just perception, but the actual physical identity will also change.”
The company recently announced that it will be expanding operations into India and Pakistan, following a move outside its core Middle Eastern comfort market. “Since we went all the way to Sudan, and have been received very well, we realized that we are able to expand our expertise and capabilities to other markets. India and Pakistan are two areas we have a lot of interest in and we will be concentrating on, as both are under-supplied.”
Elias said the move into the Indian subcontinent would be across the group’s portfolio of brands. “We are looking at signing at least two contracts within a year’s time. We will look at only the big cities.”
The other area where
Asked about a move into the Iraq market, he said the company is particularly looking at Kurdistan. “We have been contacted by several investors and we are finalizing feasibilities for these areas.”
By Keith J Fernandez