UAE-based Rotana Hotels has extended its expansion plans in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ahead of 2023.
Five years ago, Rotana set a goal to open 100 hotels by 2020. By the end of this year, the company is set to have 67 hotels operating in the Middle East, Levant, Turkey and Africa. “We opened up three this year, and we have another seven to go,” Omer Kaddouri, president and CEO of Rotana Hotel Management, told Gulf News.
Rotana expects to open 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia by 2030 in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 urban development program. The hotel group already has four hotels open with at least another three in the pipeline for this year alone.
The company is also planning to open seven to 10 hotel projects in the UAE by 2020, in spite of several challenges Rotana has faced in the area. The group’s main challenge, along with all other hotel groups, is the mounting pressures on average room rate. Kaddouri predicts these challenges will continue for another two years. “However, this year we are starting to see a decrease in the lowering of rates,” he said. “While I think that we are going to be in a similar situation in 2018 and 2019, we are going to see a hike in average daily rates in 2020-2021, mainly because of Expo 2020. And then after that it’s probably going to go back to the pre-Expo days, which is very good.” Kaddouri added that oil prices, and the overall economy, are beginning to improve, boosting the market’s hotel industry in response.
Rotana is also expanding into new markets with a hotel slated for Iran early next year and three properties planned for India in the next two to three years.