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Mövenpick Hotels charts out Gulf boom with 2020 expansion plan

In an effort to strengthen its regional presence, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts recently announced its intent to ramp up its regional footprint by more than 10 hotels by 2020.

The company, which currently operates 30 hotels and resorts regionally, will increase its portfolio to 40-plus properties over the next five years, focusing on high-growth such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman.

Andreas Mattmüller, chief operating officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Asia said: “Our timing could not be better as the Middle East looks set to embark on an unprecedented growth phase, fuelled by a combination of renewed consumer confidence and increased regional public and private infrastructure investment.”

Tourism to GCC countries is on track to hit the 64.27 million mark by 2020, according to Statista. This compares to nearly 41 m in 2010 and a predicted 53.64 m in 2015.

Saudi Arabia has the lion’s share of the tourism pie, with more than 21 m visitors predicted for 2015, growing to 27.5 m by 2020, driven by an increasing number of pilgrims.

The Kingdom is on Mövenpick’s pipeline priority list with plans to boost numbers from nine to 13 properties by 2017. Two hotels will open this year, one in Riyadh and the other in Jeddah, while Mövenpick’s third property in Al Khobar, the 270-key Mövenpick Residences Al Khobar, will open next year. This will be followed in 2017 with the opening of the 353-room Mövenpick Hotel Financial District Riyadh, located in King Abdullah Financial District, the city’s new vibrant business hub.

“We are currently in negotiations with various owners with a view to adding five more upscale properties in the Kingdom,” revealed Mattmüller.

Expansion in the UAE is also high with recent plans for two more Dubai properties – the 251-key Mövenpick Hotel Dubai Media City and 246-key Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai – both of which will open in 2017.

Other Middle East markets ripe for the picking, he disclosed, were Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Muscat, Salalah and Doha.

Source: - April 30, 2015

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