Hospitality firm to expand hotels in GCC countries
Rolling out its expansion strategy at the Arabian Travel Market, Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) aims to have a hotel in every member country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
“By 2020 our aim is to have a hotel in every GCC country while doubling our portfolio in Dubai and we certainly believe it is achievable, “ said Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, HMH.
He said that Dubai's successful bid for World Expo 2020 is a strong stimulant for the entire (GCC) region's hospitality and conference industry that could boost economic growth and development.
“The GCC's hospitality market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.1 percent to $28.3 billion by 2016 compared to $19.2 billion in 2011,” he said.
“The Expo will deliver global exposure for the UAE and its tourism sector, including its world-class infrastructure. Therefore, being based in Dubai, it presents an unprecedented opportunity for our group and our various brands that we are eager to capitalize on.”
HMH has a strong presence in the region, with 20 hotels in operation and five new properties opening later this year in quick succession. Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments, Coral Dubai Sports City Hotel & Apartments, Coral Beirut Concorde Hotel, EWA Khartoum Hotel & Apartments and EWA Port Sudan Hotel & Apartments are in advanced stages of development and are expected to welcome their first guests by the last quarter of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.
The new hotels are expected to boost the existing HMH portfolio by 25 percent. In addition, HMH has a solid development pipeline with the group scouting opportunities to roll out its budget brand to cater to the growing segment of low-cost travelers.
“Besides the five hotels, we plan to add another two properties to our portfolio in 2015 and two in 2016,” Laurent stressed.
“With a value-oriented and disciplined approach, our objective is to unlock HMH's full potential while maximizing operating performance of each asset we put our name to. When developers consider our hotel management company for their asset, they know HMH will deliver for ‘we say, we do’.“
Emphasizing the group's core competencies, Laurent said, “We provide hotel owners and developers a broad spectrum of comprehensive management solutions with five distinct, yet complementary, hotel brands catering to varied market segments from luxury to budget. These include The Ajman Palace, Coral Hotels & Resorts, Corp Executive Hotels, ECOS Hotels and EWA Hotel Apartments.
“Over the years, we have established an excellent reputation with our brands offering a safe, alcohol-free environment that has given us a unique niche both regionally and globally. Building on our strong record, we are stepping into a new era and are ready to take up new challenges and opportunities be it in 4-5 star category or mid-market/budget segment.”
The outlook for the GCC region in terms of inbound travel looks extremely promising with 4-5 percent growth forecast which presents the most fertile ground for any new hotel development, Laurent said.
The key contributors are existing and emerging markets that are showing solid growth driven by dramatic increase in first-time travelers from the new middle class, continued dominance of online and mobile bookings, pick up by travel agencies, expansion of airlines especially low-cost carriers and new airport facilities.
According to industry sources, the Middle East and Africa hotel development pipeline comprises of 498 hotels totalling 120,119 rooms. Dubai has the largest number of rooms under construction (10,970 rooms). Five other markets reported more than 2,000 rooms under construction: Makkah, Saudi Arabia (6,927 rooms); Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (5,804 rooms); Doha, Qatar (4,944 rooms); Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (3,036 rooms); and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2,569 rooms).
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