Rotana has announced that it will open 12 hotels by the end of next year, bringing the total number of its operational hotels to 80. Properties in the pipeline will be located in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Iraq.
At this week’s World Travel Market in London, Rotana’s acting CEO Guy Hutchinson told Business Traveller:
“2020 is going to be a fun year for us. We will start with a couple of openings in Saudi Arabia. While we’re quite developed in the traditional cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, these two openings will be in the Eastern province. Saudia Arabia is opening, growing and changing at an amazing pace, and I think we’re going to see a lot of tourism into the kingdom.”
Hutchinson also revealed that a property will open in Dubai’s Al Jaddaf district in March 2020, along with a hotel in Northern Iraq. The company is also planning to convert a large complex in Marrakesh.
There are currently no concrete plans, however, to move to western European cities. “For us its important to grow in hubs, we never want standalone or isolated hotels because then we can’t service them in the way that we want to. The ability to service those hotels in detail is critical. That’s what makes us different, and we need to maintain that point of differentiation,” says Hutchinson.
2019 has been an interesting year for Rotana, with expansions into Eastern Europe and East Africa. Most recently, the company opened Bosmal Arjaan by Rotana in Bosnia and Herzegovina in September. The 132-suite hotel is located in Sarajevo’s Bosmal City Centre complex within the second tallest residential tower in the Balkans region.
“Destinations like this have been generating such strong traction with Middle East outbound travel… We have a very strong foothold for these markets so we were confident that if we opened a product there, then we would be able to serve our existing customers well,” states Hutchinson.
Later this month, Rotana will open its first hotel in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. The Johari Rotana will feature 193 rooms and suites, 60 serviced apartments and five dining areas. Hutchinson added that hotels will also open in Nairobi, Kenya, Lusaka, and Luanda in Angola.
“This is definitely an area that is increasingly growing as a focus hub for us. Four to five years from now, when you look at five or six of the major African capitals, the best hotel in those cities is going to be a Rotana. This has started already with Kinchasa and Dar Es Salaam.”
Rotana was recently named Best Business Hotel Brand in the Middle East at this year’s Business Traveller Awards.
The hotel management company currently operates 68 properties in 25 cities across 14 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey, covering a total of 18,018 rooms across its brands.