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Rezidor plans 18 more Middle East hotels after Record year

The Rezidor Hotel Group, after a record year of hotel openings in the Middle East shows no signs of slowing down their expansion plans in the region as it plans a further 18 new Middle East hotels to be built over the next 3 years.

Rezidor plans 18 more Middle East hotels after Record year

The Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel chains, shows no sign of slowing down their ambitious expansion plans in the Middle East by planning a further 18 new Dubai hotels, Oman hotels and Egypt hotels over the course of three years.

After a record-breaking year which saw the hotel opening five new Middle East hotels in spite of global economic downturn, the company is still thirsty for more new hotel properties in the region. Rezidor’s Chief Executive, Kurt Ritter explained howthe company wants to add about 5 hotels a year under a plan to increase to 40 the number of Middle East hotels it manages from the 22 hotels it currently operates.

"We are opening five hotels a year more or less in the region. We will keep that pace if not accelerate it," said Ritter, adding that Rezidor was looking at more opportunities for adding properties in several Middle Eastern cities in addition to more Libya and Egypt hotels.

"The Middle East is doing very well compared to the rest of the world," he continued. "It has been fortunate in a way with the crunch coming late and with a much lesser impact than in Europe and the US."

Ritter said while the decline in worldwide holidaymakers taking Dubai holidays was significant, it fell from very high levels. And whilst occupancies and RevPAR are still declining in Europe, the Middle East is fairing relatively better, said Ritter. "We are looking everywhere ... in all the cities where it makes sense for us to be present."

One the company’s 2009 highlights was the introduction of its new mid-market bard, the ‘Park Inn’ which saw opening of Middle East hotels in Oman and Saudi Arabia with a third Park Inn scheduled for November as the newest of Abu Dhabi hotels, right at Yas Island – the home of the inaugural 2009 Formula One™ Etihad Airways Grand Prix.

Rezidor, which manages luxury brands such as Regent, Missoni, and Radisson, is also looking to bring its mid-market Park Inn hotels to the region to tap the growing market segment. And, according to Rezidor's CEO & President, Kurt Ritter, the increased mid-market brand openings are indicative of growing regional demand for cost-effective travel solutions.

"Generally, the Middle East is an extremely tough and fast moving market compared to Europe. It has always been very luxury orientated but we are now seeing an escalating trend for mid-market brands such as our Park Inn. This was a natural progression and one which we identified early on as a key growth area in the Middle East,"

"I am sure the Middle East will accept the trend of mid-market hotels in time," he added. "There are many five-star hotels and the little crummy local hotels but nothing in between and I think there is a big opportunity there."

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