Abu Dhabi-based Rotana plans to open four new properties by 2020 in the UAE capital valued at $300 million, its President and Chief Executive Officer told Gulf News.
Two of these hotels will open this year, including Pearl Rotana with 315 luxurious rooms and suites, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2017, and Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, a star property featuring 354 upscale rooms and suites is set for a fourth quarter opening this year.
This will be followed by the opening of Beach Arjaan by Rotana (326 keys) in the third quarter of 2018 and Marina Mall Arjaan by Rotana with 376 keys by 2020.
“Upon completion, the new hotels will add 1,371 keys to Rotana’s existing inventory in Abu Dhabi and take our total number of hotels in the capital to 16. The projects represent a combined value of $300 million,” said Omer Kaddouri through email.
Giving an outlook for Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry, he said the widening portfolio of theme parks and tourist attractions is now helping the emirate become an increasingly popular choice for leisure travellers looking for unique and authentic experiences. “Also, the emirate now boasts a packed and varied calendar of events and activities that offer a compelling mix of arts, culture and traditional and modern entertainment for visitors, which is helping attract a new breed of travellers to Abu Dhabi.”
He expects the hotel industry in Abu Dhabi to grow at a moderate pace in 2017, posting a 3 per cent increase in occupancy through the year. “Already, the emirate’s hotel industry has witnessed a 6 per cent increase in guest numbers in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year. Occupancy rates remain strong across all segments, with midscale hotels and hotel apartments in particular seeing high demand.”
“Demand has been driven primarily by UAE nationals visiting from other emirates, as well as rising tourist arrivals from China, India, UK and the Kingdom of Saudi [Arabia].”
On performance on the company last year, Kaddouri said slowing global economic growth, fluctuations in the price of oil and the weakening of major currencies have had a definite impact on the tourism and hospitality industry in the UAE and the region, as they affected arrivals and spending by tourists from key source markets such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“Despite these challenges, Rotana was able to achieve a good occupancy in our hotels in Abu Dhabi in 2016 in line with 2015. This was achieved by tapping into new markets in Eastern Europe and Asia and capitalising on the spurt in intra-regional travel. Demand for staycations among UAE residents has also been on the rise.”
“With the Russian rouble gradually regaining its strength, there has lately been an increase in visitor arrivals from Russia, and we expect the trend to continue in 2017.”
The hotel group remains positive about growth prospects in the emirate in 2017 with a number of family-oriented attractions set to open in Abu Dhabi in the near future.
Rotana is forecasting corporate travellers to account for 60 per cent of their business in our hotels in Abu Dhabi this year, with leisure travellers contributing the remaining 40 per cent.
The group has a portfolio of 105 hotels in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe including 55 operating properties and 49 properties that are under development.
Once complete, the new properties will add 12,125 rooms to Rotana’s inventory, taking its total number of rooms to 27,049, according to the company.
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