Germany’s Kempinski hotel chain is finalizing plans for a major Middle east expansion, reported the Gulf News with hotels in Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Sharm El Sheikh, El Guna, Hurghada and Tehran all being considered, and a management contract for a new hotel in Cairo having just been signed.
At present, the only Kempinski facility in the region is the 187-room Ajman Kempinski Hotel Resort in the United Arab Emirates, which opened in 1998.
Kempinski’s management was in part encouraged to consider the Middle East more carefully, because of the success it has had with its hotel in the UAE. The Ajman property has enjoyed occupancy rates near 80 percent, and raised awareness of the Kempinski brand, said Christopher Hartley, the company’s Geneva-based vice-president for marketing. Furthermore, he added, to an ever-greater degree the German public is inclined to see the Middle East is a desirable vacation spot.
According to Hartley, the hotel chain is not only in the market for management contracts. “Wherever applicable, we have the funds available to take up equity, and we have done that in Moscow and Beijing. We could do the same here if the partners are interested," he told Gulf News.
Kempinski operates 26 properties in 12 countries, with the majority being in Europe. Once partly owned by Lufthansa, the airline sold its share in the mid-1990s. Today, 83 percent of Kempinski is owned by Thailand's Siam Sindhorn, which holds 83 percent, and another 13 per cent is held by Geneva bank acting on behalf of private investors. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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