Dubai a launching pad for global tourist destinations - GulfToday

Dubai a launching pad for global tourist destinations


Chris Nader, VP – Development, Shaza Hotels (2nd left) speaks at the third ATM Global Halal Tourism Summit.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Senior Staff Reporter

The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) entered its third day on Tuesday. A cross-section of exhibitors share their candid views with Gulf Today. Shaza Hotels: Shaza Hotels, a member of the Global Hotel Alliance, is powering ahead with continued portfolio growth and expansion. The group announced its plans to open six new properties in 2019. The new openings will double the number of keys for the brand while marking its debut in key destinations such as Riyadh, Sharjah, Dubai.

 Simon Coombs, President and CEO of Shaza Hotels, stated: “We are the number one luxury operator offering true Arabian hospitality and 2019 represents the company’s strongest opening pace since our launch. We are very excited to expand our presence in the GCC with both Shaza Hotels and Mysk by Shaza brands. This year we have six new properties lined up for opening and the first of these Shaza Hotel Residences, Riyadh began operations in February.”

 Giving details of the other openings,  Coombs added: “We recently signed an agreement with the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) to manage three retreats, namely Kingfisher Lodge in Kalba, Al Badayer Oasis in Al Badayer and Al Faya Lodge close to Mleiha. These high-end destinations under the ‘Sharjah Collection’ brand, will be operated and managed by our upscale Mysk by Shaza brand. We have already welcomed our first guests in Kingfisher Lodge last month and are now getting ready to celebrate the grand opening. In addition, we have two other fabulous hotels getting ready for opening in the third and fourth quarter of the year, namely Shaza Doha and Mysk The Palm in Dubai.”

The upcoming properties will diversify the brand’s offering with a unique mix of hotels, resorts and retreats, some of which will allow tourists to discover the hidden gems of the Arabian Peninsula such as the ‘Sharjah Collection’. Coombs stressed: “The latest additions to our portfolio are testament to our compelling value proposition to our partners delivering long-term growth as well as our commitment to provide our guests with a diverse mix of accommodation options in some of the region’s most extraordinary locations.”

 Elaborating on the group’s expansion strategy,  Coombs stated: Our goal is to have 70% of the portfolio in the GCC with focus on Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Jeddah, Riyadh, Al Khobar, Makkah and Madinah as well as secondary cities in KSA driving superior returns to our stakeholders and associates.  Swiss-Belhotel International: Swiss-Belhotel International unveiled its global expansion strategy with a goal to reach 250 hotels worldwide with 50,000 rooms in operation and under development by 2022.

The group currently holds a portfolio of 145 hotels and projects with 14 unique brands spread across 24 countries. Attending the ATM are  Gavin M. Faull, Chairman and President of Swiss-Belhotel International, Mr. Matthew Faull, Senior Vice President – E-Commerce, Distribution and IT, and  Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, along with other senior management from the region.

Gavin M. Faull, said, “We are seeing an excellent growth momentum across our portfolio of brands with owners increasingly wanting their hotels to be managed by an international brand which is different from large international hotel companies. 2019 is a very significant year for us whereby we have 28 new hotels lined up for opening and out of these 35% will be located in the Middle East, while the remaining 65% are spread across China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Germany and New Zealand.”

While aggressively growing its footprint in strategic locations, Swiss-Belhotel International remains focused on enhancing profitability with superior brand standards and unique guest experiences in diverse market segments.

Cyprus: Cyprus’ increasing hotel and resort portfolio is expected to grow by 1,634 rooms this year, with seven new luxury hotels due to open across the idyllic Mediterranean island before the end of 2019. With the traditional summer influx of tourists expected to set new arrival records in the coming months, Cyprus’ Deputy Ministry of Tourism revealed that the latest hotel openings will help attract future arrivals from the GCC.

“With Cyprus’ diverse array of tourism attractions contributing to year-on-year increases in overall tourist numbers, expanding the island’s hotel portfolio is a strategic necessity that will enhance Cyprus’ appeal to visitors from across the GCC and further afield,” says  Savvas Perdios, Deputy Minister of Tourism.

“More and more luxury hotels are recognising Cyprus as a vital address in their network expansion and investment plans, so seven new property openings in 2019 is just the beginning. While these properties have been built with both leisure and business visitors in mind, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism will continue to enhance its luxury product portfolio to meet the demands of modern-day travellers.”

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