Hilton planning 10 regional, 50 international properties

Brandberg ... big plans

HILTON International is to open 10 properties in the Middle East including a new hotel in the UAE, the group announced at ATM.

Globally, the company is launching 57 new hotels outside the United States. “We’re most active in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, with 24 new properties. This is where most of the action is,” said Gunnar Brandberg, vice-president business development, Hilton International, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
All but one of these properties are management contracts, and all but one, again, are new bids. “Hilton is the strongest brand in the world, globally it is the most preferred (as rated by market research and business consultancy BDRC). Growing your portfolio makes sure you have hotels where your customers are, so you can service the market better, and make more money. ”
This aligns with the group’s decision to return to its old advertising strapline, ‘Take me to the Hilton.’
The group recently agreed to manage its second beachside property of 120 rooms and 82 chalets in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, also managing the golf club and spa for the Tower Links golf course. “Ras Al Khaimah is an excellent completement to Dubai and there is tremendous growth in the emirate,” said Brandberg.
Said Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton International's vice-president, Arabian peninsula, “We will add two more hotels to our Arabian Peninsula portfolio -- the super-luxurious 54-suite property, Jeddah Hilton Palace, which opens shortly, and the spectacular 324-room new build Hilton Doha in 2006.”
Seven new Hiltons open in Egypt (including Hurghada Long Beach, Sharm Nabq, Ain El Sokhna, Marsa Alam, Coral Beach Resort and Heliopolis), Lebanon (Beirut) and Morocco (Casablanca) by 2006.
The Middle East remains an important source market for the group, alongside China and India, said Brandberg. “In the last two years, we have doubled volumes out of this market.”